Big Bash or Tests, CA to decide on preferences

Canberra: Cricket Australia is under pressure to support its claims of its preference for Test cricket by making Big Bash League players available for a tour match against India.

The conflicting interests of Test and Twenty20 cricket surfaced after Australia coach, Tim Nielsen and players` union chief, Paul Marsh outlined their concerns about the Big Bash League hindering the development of the Test side.

Nielsen said he would like to see players on the fringe of the Test side given an opportunity to push for higher honours in the four-day game against India, from December 18 to 21, which clashes with the opening two rounds of CA`s new Twenty20 competition, a daily reports.

“You would like to see your next best side, and the identified players that might have an impact for Australia at Test match cricket getting a run in the tour game,” Nielsen was quoted, as saying.

“As we get closer and work out where everything`s at, we will have a chance to sit down with the selection chairman and decide how things are going,” he added. But, Paul Marsh has urged CA to make Twenty20 a ‘secondary issue’ and use the tour match as an opportunity to trial prospective Test players even if it meant picking contracted Big Bash players.

“If the selectors think they need Test players to play in that game then I think that should happen. What I would hate to see them do is say, we have got 144 in the Big Bash, and we won`t touch any of them. That would be the wrong direction. Hopefully they pick the appropriate team,” Marsh said.

Ed Cowan, a former New South Wales Sheffield Shield opener now based in Tasmania but aligned with the Sydney Sixers in the BBL said he wanted to be made available for the game if it were deemed important for Test selection by selectors.

“I would be disappointed if there was a Twenty20 general manager that would not be pushing for their player to push for Test selection,” Cowan said.

“If Chris Rogers (who does not have a BBL deal) does play in that game and peels off a double hundred that is an opportunity that someone has turned down or was not afforded because he was playing white-ball cricket”.


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