Many former Australian cricketers have reportedly been left unhappy with Cricket Australia, after it was announced the hospitality at home Tests would be scrapped. In years past, players have had a standing invitation to catered functions at Test matches in Australia to help keep past players in the loop and continue to provide assistance where required.
Starting from this summer, Cricket Australia will cease hosting catered functions for former players, who will instead be offered seats for every match, as well as a voucher for food and drink.
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The Age's Daniel Brettig reported the move had been 'poorly received' by past players, coming amid a period of extended unease following Justin Langer's departure as head coach earlier in 2022.
Previously, former state and international players enjoyed an invitation as Australian Cricketers' Association life members to their home Test matches, capped at 50 attendees, for a hospitality function to catch up and watch the current team play.
Past players were informed earlier in November that starting from the upcoming Test series against the West Indies, they would only be offered grandstand tickets and vouchers. They were also asked to specify who they would like to sit next to.
One player who stoke to The Age said the move was a 'slap' to former players. “Come if you want to, but we don’t really care - that’s the message I take from it," they said.
The ACA has stated dwindling attendance at the functions, which are hosted at considerable cost to the organisation, was part of the reason behind the move. Players will be invited to a function at an upcoming Sheffield Shield match to express their views to the association.
ACA boss Todd Greenberg said the Sheffield Shield event would be a welcome opportunity for players to give feedback on their expectations going forward. It comes after a well-attended function was hosted at the SCG during the T20 World Cup recently.
Australia gearing up for Test championship tilt
Three weeks after their failed Twenty20 World Cup defence, Australia can start putting finishing touches on their campaign to return to another world championship final.
It's the reality that sums up cricket's problematic, overcooked schedule, while also gifting added meaning to a summer lacking a marquee Test series.
On the face of it, this summer looms as the hardest sell in some time for officials at a time when questions are asked over the popularity of the men's team.
There are no Ashes, Border-Gavaskar Trophy or No.1-ranked touring team like Cricket Australia officials have been blessed with for the past five seasons.
The touring West Indies have not won a Test in Australia since 1996-97, with prestige around the Frank Worrell Trophy slipping with the Windies' rankings.
South Africa then follow in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and while they should present a sterner test several of their big names have exited in recent years after internal unrest.
Externally some pundits have already cast an eye forward to Australia's tours of India and England next year - the biggest year on the national team's calendar.
But well before then, the Pat Cummins-led Australian players have an eye on ticking one important box this summer - qualifying for a World Test Championship final at The Oval next June.
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