Australia news July 16, 2017

Will Sutherland chooses cricket over AFL


Details of Sutherland's contract with Victoria will not be finalised until an MoU is agreed between CA and Australian Cricketers Association © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Will Sutherland, son of Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland and one of the most talented young athletes in the country, has revealed his decision to choose cricket over football.

Having led Australia at Under-19 level but also been among the most closely watched AFL players at junior level, 17-year-old Sutherland has chosen to accept the offer of a multi-year rookie deal with Victoria rather than nominating for the AFL draft.

"This was an incredibly tough decision," Sutherland said. "Most of the advice that I received was to just follow my passion. That sounds easy enough, but not so much when my passion is for both sports.

"I really loved my experience in the recent Under-18 National Championships when representing Vic Metro and this only made the decision more difficult. When it came down to it, my love and passion for the game of cricket just won out.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed representing my state and country in the under-age ranks and the prospect of potentially being able to continue this at the senior level is very much my dream. I'm excited and relieved about this decision and will now look to focus on completing my Year 12 studies."

A powerful batsman and strong fast-medium bowler, Sutherland had been openly courted by the AFL amid expectations that he could be a top 10 draft pick. Details of Sutherland's contract with the Bushrangers will not be finalised until an MoU is agreed between CA and the Australian Cricketers Association.

"We're pleased Will has made this decision and we look forward to supporting him through the rest of his Year 12 studies and his Cricket Pathway," Cricket Victoria's general manager Shaun Graf said.

"The full Cricket Victoria squad lists for the upcoming 2017-18 season will be announced following the resolution of an MoU."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jose on July 18, 2017, 16:58 GMT

    @Cricinfouser on July 18, 2017, 15:50 GMT

    1. I knew, we were on the same page. I was just being an opportunist piggybacking on your comment. I did see the satire very well. And, it was damn good.

    2. I noticed your 'smilie' only later, which slipped down to the second line. That is a lousie excuse. The content alone was good enough for me to read it right. Here is my 'smilie' with a modern hairdo, to be your smilie's mate {}:-)

  • Cricinfouser on July 18, 2017, 15:50 GMT

    @Jose , well said, i was only trying to make light of a ludicrous situation. Will's decision is about the only victory CA have had lately. Good luck to him, may many more follow in his footsteps, the cricket path is seemingly more difficult than football. He has shown courage in his decision.

  •   Cricinfouser on July 18, 2017, 8:39 GMT

    Good choice young man. An international sport where you can travel the globe vs a uniquely endemic sport with no hope of gaining an international following.

  • Jose on July 18, 2017, 4:21 GMT

    @Cricinfouser on July 17, 2017, 15:36 GMT

    In the whole mess, which looks shambolic,

    Will's will to stay with our game, is symbolic.

    He is just a teen at seventeen.

    Who did play for the country in Under-nineteen.

    He may be a Sutherland,

    But no way, a spot in the OZ lineup, he may land.

    Sir, let me say,

    For him, it's too early in the day.

    Just read it for what it is.

    Pl don't take far more than what it really is.

  • Cricinfouser on July 17, 2017, 15:36 GMT

    Must be a fan of CA's proposed MOU. At least they've got one player on the books, only 10 more to go :)

  • Jose on July 17, 2017, 13:47 GMT


    @Those who are puzzled by my earlier post stating, BOTH parties will suffer (in this case both CA & Broadcaster) may explore the concept of "bilateral monopolies". Bilateral monopoly exists when there is effectively ONE seller (CA in this case) and ONE buyer (Channel 9).

    There is plenty of empirical research to show the bilateral damages, in such a case. One of the biggest impediment in getting out of it, is what we call "switching costs" which will be prohibitively high, prevention either to get out of it. In his case, CA going for another broadcaster.

    Over a period time, the political, legal, financial, even technical support system (like towers or bandwidth) will be conditioned to protect such bilateral monopolies. There will be too many tentacles to break free.

    I am familiar with the work done in USA & in India, on this malice; but none from OZ.

    I hope, University of Melbourne or NSW or ANU picks it up, to cull out the impact over past 3 decades.

  • Jose on July 17, 2017, 11:37 GMT

    @Girik on July 17, 2017, 9:43 GMT

    Can you believe, both CA & Channel 9 claimed recently that, the tours by PAK & SA resulted in losses? For added effect, they did make the claim that tours by England & India alone are financially attractive.

    I have no doubt in my mind that 3 decades of living together by CA & the broadcaster has resulted in a massive undervaluation of OZ cricket.

    It is similar to 'under-invoicing' between exporters & importers for their mutual benefit, to the detriment of tax collection! Replace the word 'exporters' with CA, and 'Importers' with broadcaster.


    Two consequences are obvious.

    1. Broadcasters will be profligate in entertaining VIPs & Ex-cricketers, inefficient, incurring losses & inviting the wrath of financial system. May even become bankrupt.

    2. The Boards will continue to wail about lack of funds for the grass roots and put a ceiling on players' wages.

    . These are natural phenomena like water always flows downstream.

  • Girik on July 17, 2017, 9:43 GMT

    @izzido8204666, on the contrary over the last 3-5 years, cricket has been the fastest growing sport in Australia by spectator numbers. Look up the Austadiums website which contains crowd attendances for all major Australian sports and leagues. The Big Bash League boom has eaten into crowd numbers for the AFL, NRL, A-League, NBL, the Australian Open, Australian Grand Prix, domestic horse racing and golf, ANZ Championship (netball), ABL (baseball) and Super Rugby. Include international fixtures for all sports and again cricket has been by far the fastest riser (and its base wasn't that small to begin with). The drop in Tests and ODIs has been minimal if at all (last year's Test series vs Pakistan was the most popular Aus vs Pak series ever by crowds and TV) while the surge in T20 has given cricket a huge boost altogether.

  • Scott Sandars on July 17, 2017, 5:27 GMT

    Good move by Will. If he washes out of cricket, or CA and the Players Association don't pull their fingers outs of their collective proverbials, he can always fall back on Aussie Rules, much like Alex Keath tried to do.

  • Jose on July 17, 2017, 4:00 GMT

    @Dunger (Rob) & @ Chris_P (Peter)

    I share the same feeling that this one by Will Sutherland is really good on multiple fronts (as Dunger says). and a good omen that Jimmy Sutherland will not jettison what is good for Australian cricket (as Chris says) and by extension, it is good for World Cricket (as I think).

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