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Selection row escalates as players' association hits back at Hohns

Cricket

The player’s union has come out swinging against Cricket Australia and selector Trevor Hohns over criticism of Victorian veteran Cameron White.

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Interim chairman of selectors Hohns labelled White’s international career as nothing “earth shattering” and accused him of having a short memory.

White’s criticism of CA’s selection policies was met with a swift response by Hohns and the Australian Cricket Association leapt to his defence in a statement today, saying players believed they were being gagged.

“Cameron is entitled to express his views, and Trevor Hohns and others from CA are entitled to disagree,” ACA chief executive Alastair Nicholson said.

“But to reduce the discussion to a negative critique of Cameron White’s career is playing the man, not the ball.

“Cameron continues to give his heart and soul to the game, his state and has been recognised as a captain of his country. He deserves better.”

Nicholson said there was a growing feeling amongst players that any critique of CA would be met with a disproportionate response.

The relationship between the player’s union and CA reached a low ebb in December after the governing body called off contract negotiations for a new pay deal.

The two parties were negotiating a new Memorandum of Understanding however talks soured over several issues, notably female players.

White on Tuesday expressed his frustration at the state of the national side, saying it at times resembled a development team.

He lamented that “you can get picked to play for Australia in any format out of Big Bash” and that Sheffield Shield and one-day cup form had become irrelevant.

That prompted Hohns’ retort, pointing out that White had debuted in the Australian one-day side as a 22-year-old but failed to make an impact at international level.

“Cameron has had plenty of opportunities… he has had plenty of opportunities in the past and it’s probably fair to say performed okay without being earth-shattering,” Hohns said.

-AAP

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