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Shane Watson slams ‘absurd reactionary whispers’ over Greg Dyer’s position

Shane Watson, the president of the Australian Cricketer’s Association, has labelled suggestions that the position of the union’s chairman, Greg Dyer, is under threat as “absurd reactionary whispers”.

In the wake of Kevin Roberts’ sacking as Cricket Australia’s CEO there had been reports that Dyer was under pressure to move aside as CA and ACA attempt to mend their relationship and prevent an all-out pay dispute.

Prior to Roberts’ departure, the ACA had reacted strongly to CA’s financial outlook which suggested a 48% reduction in revenue due to Covid-19 despite the increasingly strong prospects of the India tour taking place later this year.

ALSO READ: Knowledge, power – inside the fall of Kevin Roberts

Those figures are now set to be amended in light of an improving situation and Watson offered a full endorsement of Dyer’s position, highlighting the success in protecting the domestic competitions from cuts, the growth of the women’s game, securing the revenue-sharing model and the gender equity pay model that was brought in during the acrimonious 2017 pay talks.

“There were some absurd reactionary whispers this week and picked up in the media that just as CA’s CEO has resigned, so should Greg move on from the ACA. What nonsense,” Watson wrote on the ACA’s website.

“Over the last eight years working with him on the ACA Board, I have observed a super impressive guy with an incredible business knowledge and a huge focus on good corporate governance. His perspective is always on point and with the players’ wellbeing and the health of the game of cricket at heart.

“So, in an odd week for cricket, perhaps the most bizarre suggestion was that someone so selfless, forward thinking and consistently proven to be correct, time and time again, should consider their position. I look forward to working with him as we look to cricket’s next challenges.”

In the article, Watson also focused specifically on the importance of retaining the full senior domestic programmes after they had been threatened with cuts. Dyer had previously come out very strongly in opposition of any such moves, criticising CA for not understanding the value of the competitions, and Watson hoped any notion of cutting back had “gone for good.”

“For the last five years, the creeping suggestion has been that the Shield and WNCL were ‘cost bases’ to be reduced rather than investments to be nurtured and that money should instead be spent on new or other pathways,” Watson wrote. “To be polite, it is wrong to think that facing a ball machine at 150kph is the same as facing James Pattinson or Tayla Vlaeminck out in the middle.

“It was a trend built on the dangerous idea that performance matters less than potential. It is an idea that is hopefully now gone for good.

“The ACA also welcomes the reconsideration of CA’s planned cuts to state grants and cricket revenue forecasts. As expressed by the ACA… the cuts and reforecasts were premature. They needed to be rethought and it is good that they are.”


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