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SBD Global/January 11, 2013/Media

Australia Cricket Interim Captain George Bailey Fires Back At Channel 9

Interim Australian cricket team captain George Bailey "has accused Channel 9 of intentionally denigrating Australia's one-day team to force down the price of the next broadcast rights deal," according to Mark Hayes of the HERALD SUN. Negotiations "are under way between Nine and Cricket Australia over a new broadcast arrangement," and preliminary reports suggest the deal could be worth A$500M ($528.9M) (HERALD SUN, 1/11). In Sydney, Peter Lalor reported "things have got ugly since Nine Dir of Sport Steve Crawley complained about the axing of Michael Hussey from the series and the decision to rest David Warner in the first two games." Bailey, standing in for Michael Clarke as captain, hit back Thursday while announcing that "debutants would fill the top three batting slots." Bailey said, "I think they're (Nine) about to go into negotiations for the TV rights; I think that was a pretty tactical move to try and talk down one-day cricket and what the Australian team's putting out. It's still the Australian cricket team, isn't it? I'm sure Sri Lanka won't be taking it as an Australia 'B' team." Bailey's attack comes two days after CA Strategic Communications Adviser Peter Young "also hit out at talk the side was a B team." Young said, "We find that downright offensive. The selectors are charged with picking teams that win games for Australia. We've got three formats that we've got to balance now." (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/11)
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