Cricket players on tricky ground with in-play interviews


Her offence was to announce the Hurricanes team on Instagram an hour before a WBBL match, which ended up washed-out. The post was intended as a joke about how low her name was in the order.

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When it comes to in-play interviews during Test matches, the general rule agreed between CA and broadcasters is players can speak about what has happened but not what will happen. That’s not as simple as it sounds in the heat of the moment.

For instance, during the second Test between Australia and Pakistan in Adelaide, Steve Smith mentioned into Spidercam that “Gaz is maybe about to come on to bowl”, referring to spinner Nathan Lyon during a drinks interval after 14 overs of Pakistan’s second innings. As it turned out, Lyon wasn’t introduced to the attack for another nine overs.

Also in Adelaide, David Warner said in a quick interview as he walked off the ground on 261 not out: “At the moment, we’re in a good position. Hopefully we can put the foot down soon.”

Going back to the first Test in Brisbane, Marnus Labuschagne was in the middle and unbeaten on 158, having just lost Warner as his batting partner, when he was asked: “What are the tactics from here?” The No.3’s response – “just bat” – gave nothing away.

There is no suggestion of anything untoward from the players, who are doing their best to provide insight without letting slip too much information, or from commentators. But it’s an area CA, having allowed on-field interviews in Tests, said it was keeping an eye on.

“Cricket Australia and the broadcasters are in constant dialogue regarding in-match player interviews, which includes education specific to integrity issues,” a CA spokesman said. “We need to strike the right balance between ensuring the integrity of the contest and providing the access broadcasters and fans want. All new features introduced to international broadcasts must first be approved by the ICC.”

Gilly’s high five

With Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney all but certain to host a Test against India next summer, it leaves Perth and Brisbane fighting for the fourth, and final, clash. However, Test great Adam Gilchrist had a simple idea to alleviate concerns – add a fifth Test.

“I reckon five Tests against India is the best result,” he said at the Lord’s Taverners Test breakfast.

Gilchrist’s comments mirror those of Shane Warne, who said the country’s major venues should not be put in a position where one missed out. CA has ruled that prospect out. There are five Tests in Australia next summer – but one will be against Test cricket’s latest inductee, Afghanistan.

Tasmania is keen to host that but Gilchrist said the WACA Ground would be an ideal venue should Perth Stadium miss out on India.

‘Average’ rating still rankles

The ‘average’ rating, the lowest pass mark from the International Cricket Council, given to the Optus Stadium pitch for its inaugural Test is still not sitting well out west 12 months on.

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WACA chief Christina Matthews believes there needs to be more “flexibility” with the ratings.

“There are questions they have to answer that are not relevant to where you are playing,” Matthews said.

“It asks, ‘did it spin on day four?’ No, it didn’t because it rarely does here. We use it as a guide in terms of how we’re going. It’s only when it gets down to really bad that it really has an impact on anything.”

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