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2017 ICC Champions Trophy

2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Pay Dispute Not A Distraction Ahead of A Must Win Game – Steven Smith 

2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Pay Dispute Not A Distraction Ahead of A Must Win Game – Steven Smith

There is a lot going on in Australia Cricket since long about the pay dispute among the players and the governing body. With Australia not being able to complete a single match against Newzealand and Bangladesh due to rain has shared one point each with the teams.

The other day in a cracking thriller, Bangladesh winning against New Zealand knocked them out, leaving Australia in a do-or-die situation. Steven Smith has said the current pay dispute between the players and the governing body will not act as a distraction for his side ahead of their must-win match against England at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Cricket Australia (CA) has threatened not to pay contracted players beyond the June 30 expiry of their current financial deal if they do not accept a new offer. That has, in turn, led David Warner, Australia’s vice-captain argued that if the players don’t have a contract then they won’t be able to take part in the showpiece home Ashes Test series against England starting in November.

The ACA want to maintain the current revenue sharing model but CA wants to renegotiate the current Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which would mean domestic players receiving less than they do now. If agreement cannot be reached by the end of this month, Australia’s leading players will be out of the contract and free to pursue other opportunities around the world.Although Smith says this must not affect their game.

“We’re not worried about that at all,” said Smith. “We know the ACA is handling that back home. For us, it’s about concentrating on this tournament. Tomorrow is a big game for everyone in this group. Everyone is excited, and hopefully, can play a good game tomorrow.”

“I think the players have been really united through everything that’s going on with the MoU back home. So the guys are in a good place. There hasn’t been that much talk about it as a team. I said before we got here, this is an ICC tournament. It only comes around every four years, the Champions Trophy, and it’s the second biggest tournament after the World Cup.” Smith added.

Australia suffered a group stage defeat against England at Edgbaston in the 2013 Champions Trophy. They also beat England easily to win the 2015 World Cup but an admiring Smith said:

“I think they’ve come a long way. We’re certainly going to have to be at our best if we’re going to beat them.”

Smith confirmed that John Hastings may be an option for Australia and Zampa may make a way.

“I’m sure he’ll [Hastings] be talked about, particularly as a new wicket. He’s a guy that bowls that little bit slower and can hit the seam and get whatever’s in the wicket. Being a fresh wicket, there could be a little bit there, and he’ll certainly come into contention.”

Despite all these rifts and rain intervening matches Australia seems ready for anything and win to go off to the semis.

“The guys are incredibly excited,” said Smith. “It’s essentially a quarterfinal for us, so we’re ready to come up against a good England outfit. Hopefully, we can get through our first game of this tournament and have some success.”

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