Cricket - and the long standing battle between Kerry Packer and the Australian Cricket Board is over.
GV Australian Team Manager David Richards being interviewed in English by Visnews reporter at Lords Cricket Ground.
LINES: "David Richards, how is the news of the peace treatment between the Australian Cricket Board and Kerry Packer's organisation affected the players so far?"
RICHARDS: "Well they really haven't caught up with the details yet, and I have not seen a full statement, but I will be getting one during the day. We've got a team meeting scheduled for tonight (Wednesday 30 May) anyway, in preparation for our match against Middlesex tomorrow, and when I have the statement we will go through it with the side this afternoon. But some of them were aware of the broad principles of what was coming, there were news statements made, reports in Australia, and I do not think it will come as any surprise to them."
LINES: "There have been reports that many of the World Series players are due to take their places back in the Australian side, but do you feel that these are just ill-founded rumours?"
RICHARDS: "Well I do not really know at his stage, the Australian Cricket Board will retain as it always has, the power to select players. And they haven't got a selection committee for 1979/1980 yet because the annual meeting hasn't been held. I do not know what the World Series players futures hold and I think that is one of individual decision to the players.
LINES: "In a way David, do you feel that this decision to admit World Series players back into the test team will at last take the shadow of being second-string players off the backs of Kim Hughes and his team here?"
RICHARDS: "I think it is unfortunate that they have been considered as second-string players, and last season's performances may have given that impression. I hope over the next two or three weeks we tend to prove to the public at last that they are not second-string players, because I believe in that side, there are some very fine players, who are going to play test cricket anyway come what may, and have come into the test side perhaps a year or two earlier than one might have expected, and hopefully through now and into the eighties they will form the bulk of the Australian test side."
LINES: "Sadly there will be no lack of motivation, now that they know their places are very much in danger."
RICHARDS: "I do not know that they are in danger perse, but I think that they have every incentive, I think every player has every incentive to perform at their maximum both here and in forthcoming matches before 1979/1980 And that is a nice position to have your side in."
REPORTER: PHIL LINES
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Cricket - and the long standing battle between Kerry Packer and the Australian Cricket Board is over. A ten year agreement has been signed between Packer - and Australian businessman and entrepreneur - and the Australian Board. Under the agreement, Packer will stop promoting his World Series matches and pay off his 68 international players in return for exclusive television rights to Australian cricket for the next three years. The news of the agreement came as the touring Australian team prepared for June's World Cup tournament at London's Lord's cricket ground. Visnews' Phil Lines interviewed the team manager, David Richards.