Cricket: Money matters as Australia A withdraw from English leg of tour

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The Independent Online
AUSTRALIA A yesterday withdrew from their forthcoming tour to England for financial reasons and will instead restrict their itinerary to Scotland and Ireland.

The 13-strong party, coached by , Allan Border, the former Australian captain, were scheduled to play two one-day games against Durham and three- day matches against both Kent and Sussex before travelling north to Scotland.

But they have now decided to opt out of the England leg of their trip, which will reduce the length of their tour by a fortnight.

"It appears that there was some misunderstanding over the financing of the tour," explained Tim Lamb, the England and Wales Cricket Board's chief executive. "The Australian Cricket Board were under the impression that they would be receiving a greater contribution from the ICC Development Fund towards their touring costs than is in fact the case.

"I feel particular sympathy for Durham, Kent and Sussex, who were all looking forward to staging matches against the Australians, but unfortunately the matter was outside the ECB's control."

The tour party includes the Birmingham-born Andrew Symonds, who controversially announced his eligibility for Australia having played for Gloucestershire as an English-qualified player.

The fast bowlers Jason Gillespie, Adam Dale and Brendon Julian, who were all part of Australia's Ashes tour squad last summer, are also included alongside the former Test batsman Matthew Hayden.

The squad will be captained by Tasmanian opener Michael Di Venuto, who has recently broken into Australia's one-day side.