Bill Lawry Urges Australian Players Not To Boycott South Africa Tour
With Australia A’s tour of South Africa in limbo, former Australia skipper Bill Lawry has urged the players to reconsider their decision of boycotting the series due to the stalled pay talks with Cricket Australia (CA).
After months of negotiations, the Australia Cricketers’ Association (ACA) and Cricket Australia (CA) have failed to reach an agreement on a new pay deal. And with the cricket board not willing to bow down in front of the players’ demand, the ACA has made it clear that unless a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed by Friday (July 7) — when Australia A are scheduled to leave for South Africa – the players will be left with no choice but to boycott the tour.
The tour of South Africa is slated to start with an unofficial two-Test series, first of which will be played from July 12 at Pretoria. But for the time being, seeing the series going ahead as planned is looking a distant dream unless there is significant progress in the pay talks that have left around 200 Australian players without a contract and effectively unemployed.
However, Lawry feels the players should go ahead with the tour in order to cement their spot in the senior team.
“Personally, if I was one of the young players on the Australia A tour I’d be very, very unhappy if it doesn’t happen because this is their opportunity to put their hand up and say ‘I’m the next cab off the rank’,” Lawry told The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday (July 4). “It’s something the ACA and the senior players who are saying, ‘we’re behind you’, should be really thinking (about). Are they going to deny a young 19-year-old an opportunity they’ve had (in the past) to take the next step forward?
“That’s the most important thing. They really should go,” he added. “You make three hundreds, you take 20 wickets, you’re the next cab off the rank. If they don’t play, who is next? The only people who suffer will be the best young players in Australia — they miss an opportunity to put their hand up. It’s very unfair for them, whatever happens.”
Meanwhile, the ongoing tussle between the players and CA can also jeopardise Australia’s One-Day series in India and the Ashes at home. Australia opener David Warner had already suggested that the Ashes could be at risk of being affected but former Aussie skipper Ian Chappell feels CA is likely to take a decision in September when Australia visits India for the ODI series.
“I can’t believe they (CA) will want to upset India, so I would have thought that something will happen before,” he said. “Because they won’t want to cancel that. If they get something done then, people will have probably forgotten by (the time the Ashes start in) November.”
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