Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/1/16/ca-hit-back-at-warne

CA hit back at 'misinformed' Warne

UPDATED 19 March, 2013 3:58PM AEST | by Ronny Lerner, Omnisport 8

Shane Warne's scathing criticism of Australia's national selection policy on Tuesday was 'misinformed' and demonstrated a lack of understanding of the rules that govern the Big Bash League, according to CA's executive general manager of operations Mike McKenna.

The Melbourne Stars captain let reporters know in no uncertain terms how he felt about Cricket Australia's refusal to allow his team to include strike bowler James Pattinson in their side for their semi-final clash against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA Ground on Wednesday night.

'Mind boggling' and 'ridiculous' were some of the choice adjectives Warne used when describing the selection criteria.

But in response, McKenna said on Wednesday that the National Selection Panel's (NSP) policies had nothing to do with Pattinson's ineligibility to face the Scorchers and suggested that if the legendary spinner had a better understanding of the rules surrounding the domestic Twenty20 competition then maybe he wouldn't have lashed out in the first place.

"The facts are that James Pattinson is available for selection for the Big Bash as per the national selection panel's policies but he's not available under competition rules," McKenna said.

"Before the season started James had an injury in the Adelaide Test, the Australian medical officer's advice was it was a minimum six-to-eight-week injury and as it turns out that the Stars at that time decided to replace James with Daniel Worrall in the squad.

"At that time, James then became ineligible for the rest of the competition and that rule remains the same."

McKenna revealed the Stars have asked CA to change that rule twice but insisted it would be unfair if that occurred especially given other teams have held onto injured players for big chunks of the tournament.

A prime example of that was the Sydney Sixers retaining Josh Hazlewood for seven weeks as he recuperated from a foot injury.

However, McKenna confirmed the rule would be reviewed prior to next summer's edition of the BBL.

"This (rule) is probably one that will get a fair bit of attention because of the impact on that (team selection)," he said.

"We do also want the best players on the field and we'd like to have had James playing in these last few rounds but we don't want to change the rules mid-season, it's not fair on all the teams."

Pattinson's unavailability has only compounded the Stars' personnel crisis with David Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay and Matthew Wade all ruled out due to national duty ahead of Australia's third one-day clash against Sri Lanka on Friday in Brisbane.

McKenna said it would have been 'inappropriate' to allow the quartet to fly to Perth to participate in the semi-final then fly back across country to the Queensland capital in the space of a few days.

McKenna also denied Warne's explosive outburst was 'malicious' and doubted the 43-year-old would be sanctioned for it.

In some good news for the Stars, if they qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament by beating Perth then Pattinson will be able to represent them at the marquee event despite not playing in the BBL at all this season.

Meanwhile, McKenna ruled out an increase in matches or teams for next year's BBL season and envisaged less games would be held in the pre-Christmas period in order to maximise crowd numbers.

The BBL has experienced a slight net average decline in attendance and ratings this year compared to last.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 16 January, 2013 2:49PM AEST

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