Australian PM not a fan of the shortened game July 3, 2006

Michael Slater slams Johns stunt

Cricinfo staff

Michael Slater is the latest to add his comments to the Andrew Johns saga - and, like John Howard, he isn't impressed either. Johns, a rugby league player, is due to play two Twenty20 matches for New South Wales in January, and his proposed inclusion has sparked furore.

While acknowledging that the stunt is designed to attract the crowds, Slater is concerned that Johns is squeezing out younger players who could benefit from the experience. "These budding professional cricketers need to get the first look into playing for their beloved state," Slater told an Australian radio station, "and not using a marketing stunt to try to get bums on seats.

"I don't believe that Cricket NSW should sell itself short and start flirting with the integrity of what it should stand for. Andrew Johns should have been out there at the half-time interval, hitting sixes into the crowd, even being on a loudspeaker commentating on the game. But playing. I just don't get it."