Former players slam CA for selling baggy green

May 18th, 2008 - 7:32 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, May 18 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) has been slammed by former Australian cricketers after its players wore a beer sponsor’s cap instead of the revered baggy green in the West Indies tour. The Australian team abandoned the traditional baggy green for blue caps emblazoned with the VB beer logo in a match against Jamaican XI Friday night.

A host of former stars including Greg Matthews lashed out at CA, accusing it of “selling baggy green”.

“Money talks. You’re selling your pride, selling the baggy green. It is a cheap thing,” Matthews was quoted as saying in Herald Sun.

“If I am playing in the park with my mates, I might wear a beer hat. But if I am playing for my country, I will wear the hat I earned and that is my right.”

CA public affairs manager, Philip Pope, however said the decision was not made for commercial reasons, but because the team management wanted uniformity.

Not every player can have a baggy green, which is presented to a player on the morning of their Test debut. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is the only player in the Australian XI who is yet to play a Test and get a baggy green.

But Matthews said every player chosen to tour for Australia should be entitled to a baggy green.

Former Test skipper Kim Hughes couldn’t recall a precedent during his career.

“The only alternative was the floppy wide-brimmed hat, always with our coat of arms on it,” he said.

Former Test batsman Keith Stackpole said he was disappointed.

“There are certain things that should be sacred. You are representing Australia, not VB,” he said.

But former Test opener Geoff Marsh said: “As long as they wear the baggy green in Test matches, that’s all that counts. Sponsorship’s very important.”

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