Bitter that they were not supported to the hilt by their board in the now-resolved racism row, Australian cricketers have decided to protest against Cricket Australia by writing a letter.
Through their representative body, the Australian Cricketers’ Association, Ponting and Co. will formally air their disappointment to a CA official who they believe had pressured them into accepting a move to downgrade the racism against Harbhajan, the Sydney Morning Herald said.
The move of the players to complain to CA in writing has the support of Cricketers’ Association president Darren Lehmann.
“We are very disappointed with the outcome and the subsequent unwarranted fallout for the Australian players,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The report said the players feel pressure was applied by CA on two fronts, one on the financial repercussions that would be incurred by CA if India withdrew from the one-day series and the other because of legal advice.
“The cricketers were told CA could be sued for up to $60 million by ESPN, the company which purchased the rights to televise the series into Asia, if India withdrew. CA further advised that such a loss would take up to 10 years to recoup,” the report said.
It said players also felt pressure in the form of legal advice from CA, which told them that by downgrading the charge against Harbhajan the Australians would have a better chance of successfully prosecuting the Indian spinner but which ended up portrayed them as the guilty party.