Cricket Australia, Cricket South Africa need commitment to improve strained relationship: Graeme Smith
Cricket Australia canceled its trip to South Africa on February 3rd, citing a new wave of the COVID-19 virus in the host country as the reason. The Australian men’s cricket team was scheduled to travel to South Africa in late February to take part in the three friendly matches. CA even named a 19-person test squad for the South Africa tour last month, for which the dates have not yet been determined.
The result was a strained relationship between the two boards, as CSA was terribly disappointed in CA’s unilateral decision that caused the board a huge financial loss, and Director Graeme Smith put it into words.
“The cancellation of our tour sends a hurtful message to the less affluent cricket-playing nations of the world,” read the letter from CSA to CA. “We believe this will have detrimental effects on the stability of global cricket, its growth and its future,” CSA said in its letter to CA.
Smith told reporters Monday that the two boards need to renew their commitment to improve their strained relationship.
‘The relationship is definitely strained at this point. We are certainly trying on our part to get more involved at board level and to organize a meeting. Above all, the ICC must have strong leadership in the future. I believe Covid is actually strengthening possessions and relationships across the board and how the future landscape of cricket will be handled, “said Smith.
‘The FTP [Future Tours Programme] With possibly eight ICC tournaments in eight years and an expanded IPL, this will be a huge challenge. Much of the calendar, which is certainly dominated by India, England and Australia, makes it extremely challenging for the rest of the member states. When things like this happen, it only adds to the stress for nations like us and the other members looking for good content. I think engagement has to be done to improve the situation between South Africa and Australia. We’ve had some initial engagements with the operational side of Cricket Australia and it hasn’t been a positive finding a window, but we’re working hard on it, ”added Smith.
In this light, the CSA director has also said that the ICC “must have strong leadership” following the sudden cancellation of the tour.
“The game needs leadership now. It has to understand the complexity. I don’t think World Cricket will want three nations to compete against each other in ten years. How does that benefit the game? It doesn’t. That will then strengthen the leagues and the leagues will then get bigger and bigger. The rest of the member states will then have little to no content, ”said Smith.
‘The leadership of the ICC must now deal with these questions. They are becoming more and more relevant. I think the ICC was a little unprepared for some of these issues, ”he added.