Cricket Australia slammed over Zimbabwe series

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Cricket Australia and some of its highest-profile players remain on a collision course over participation in the one-day international series against Zimbabwe, which directly conflicts with The Hundred.

Ten of its stars including captain Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and David Warner have signed up for the inaugural edition of the ECB’s 100-ball competition, which will be staged between July 17 and August 16.

Australia were due to host Zimbabwe in three ODIs in June, but CA are proposing to move the matches to August, which will force several players into making a decision between representing their country or playing white-ball cricket overseas.

Though fixtures for The Hundred were not released until last November, the window the competition had been well known. However, CA only notified agents and state associations that the Zimbabwe matches would be moved to later in the English summer in August, just a month before the window to declare interest in the player draft opened.

James Erskine, an agent who represents Warner among others, has hit back at CA over the change to the schedule but believes all 10 players will still feature in The Hundred.

“There was no cricket on at the time,” he told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. “Cricket Australia can’t basically schedule retrospectively against the Hundred.

“There are lots of Australians who have made commitments to the Hundred. My gut feeling is they [players] will all turn around and say: ‘Find some other dates’.

“They [CA] have got to get their scheduling much further in advance, they can’t just do it now. That’s my view.

“They have got to really think about what they are doing here. They have stuffed up their summer of cricket with a deal with India.

“They have got to be very careful with what they do. They are meant to be custodians of the game. Quite frankly, they have got to get their act together.”

If players chose instead to play for Australia, they would be potentially losing out on a major pay-day.

D’Arcy Short (Trent Rockets), Warner (Southern Brave), Finch (Northern Superchargers) Starc and Smith (both Welsh Fire) and Glenn Maxwell (London Spirit) were selected in the first round in The Hundred, in the £125,000 price category.

Meanwhile, Chris Lynn (Superchargers) was picked at the £100,000 stage, Nathan Coulter-Nile (Rockets) in the £75,000 group, Dan Christian (Manchester Originals) for £60,000 and Adam Zampa for the sum of £40,000.