First blood Australia as their ‘A’ team beats the England Lions in the first One-Day at Hobart. While England players ask for higher payments to put them on equal terms with their Australian counter-parts, who earn millions through participation in the Big Bash League and the IPL.
Shaun Marsh hit a 128 ball hundred as Australia A came out the victors by 7 wickets with 5 balls remaining. Marsh, who retired hurt after reaching his century, batted with elegance and aided his push to add to his 37 ODI appearances. Arron Finch partnered him in a 179-run stand for which no bowler threatened. Varun Chopra was the pick of the English batsmen after hitting 105 to keep Compton and Root on their toes. Essex youngster Ben Foakes also impressed scoring a 42 ball 56 and keeping very well. Chris Wright was the pick of the English bowlers, taking 1-39 in his 10 overs while the 27-year-old John Hastings took 3-56 including the wicket of Chopra for the home side. The Lions remain win-less on their tour after 3 defeats to state side Victoria in the warm-up matches.
This comes after the full England team claimed a series twenty20 victory over New Zealand after a fantastic display from Alex Hales and Michael Lumb to knock off the score without losing a wicket. Captain Broad also put injury fears to bed by bowling with ferocity and taking 3-15 in his 4 overs. They now head into the ODI series with calls for higher payments coming from the players and PCA. This comes after the Pietersen saga of which payment was a big issue, as well as recent reports claiming Owais Shah may become a freelance cricketer, travelling the world playing in various twenty20 compeitions. With central contract negotiations due to begin soon, it is an issue that will be top of the ECB’s agenda. Currently English players earn around half of what their Australian counter-parts do due to their availability for lucrative twenty20 competitions such as The Big Bash League and the IPL. Matt Prior played a few games in the Big Bash League due to England’s preference not to include him in shorter format squads, leaving him with more time to play in these competitions. The keeper also went for the IPL auction but did not get an bids. He recently spoke of his frustration, blaming his one-month availability for the tournament to be the reason he did not attract bids. Players will be asking for nearly double what they currently earn from the ECB, either they will have to dig extra deep in their pockets, or fall to the IPL and allow players to make themselves available for more of the tournament.