Already disgruntled, former Australian cricketers continue to feel aggrieved and the latest scrapping of catered events at home state Test matches has added more to fuel to a simmering fire.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association has replaced catered functions at Test matches with a $30 food and drink voucher and past players are reportedly not happy at what they perceive to be ongoing shabby treatment from the game’s hierarchy and governing bodies.
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As the current team gears up for a Test against the West Indies in Perth on Wednesday (which will be live and free across the Seven network), a former Australian cricketer told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that the new voucher was a “slap to past players”.
“Come if you want to, but we don’t really care – that’s the message I take from it.”
The catered functions for the past players were designed to maintain camaraderie among the group where they can get together and celebrate their glory days.
But now the event has gone, the new offer of the voucher has been poorly received and it has been reported that “past player groups (are discussing) whether attending would be seen as acceptance of the change”.
The ACA has defended its decision and said attendance at the catered functions had been declining.
“The benefit of this event is that it will provide a greater opportunity for us to connect with our past players, listen to their views about the game, and talk with them about the programs and services available,” ACA chief executive Todd Greenberg told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Whether that’s support around their wellbeing, health check days, or even the opportunity to be paid to go back and coach at a local cricket club through our Game Development Grants.”
The relationship between past players and the current stars continues to be a hot topic, as well as the relationship between the past great Cricket Australia
Those relationships recently hit a flashpoint when former Aussie opener Justin Langer was sacked as coach of the Australian men’s team.
Langer wrote an exclusive column for The West Australian on Friday where he attempted to hose down the “war”.
He wrote he had recently reached out to the current players and it was “happy, encouraging, positive stuff”.
He also said: “We all love Australian cricket. Of course, everyone has the right to their opinion, but ultimately everyone wants to see what is best for cricket in this country.”
Former Test captain Mark Taylor recently said the fighting was “not great for the brand of Australian cricket”.
“Let’s have a bit more positivity around Australian cricket. Less thought about individual brands, and a bit more about the team brand or the nation brand.”