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Victoria spinner Muirhead approached improperly

Daniel Brettig

April 3, 2013

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

James Muirhead bowls for Adelaide Strikers, January 8, 2012
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South Australia made an improper approach to recruit the young Victoria legspinner James Muirhead during the 2012-13 season, a Cricket Australia grievance tribunal has ruled. However the matter has been adjourned for further proceedings at a later date after SA contested the verdict.

Muirhead, who played for the Adelaide Strikers in the inaugural BBL tournament in 2011-12, is contracted to the Bushrangers but it was alleged by the Bushrangers that he was approached by SA towards the end of this season's competition, despite his current deal, and without their permission.

"The Tribunal found a breach of Rule 4 of the Rules for Interstate Competitions by the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA)," a CA spokesman said. "A further hearing of the matter has been adjourned to the 24th April 2013."

The relevant rule states: "State Association must not (and must ensure that its constituent clubs do not) hold discussions with a CA Contracted Player or a State Contracted Player who is bound to another State Association concerning the possible transfer of that player without first informing the player's home State Association."

SA have indicated their determination to dispute the outcome. "SACA maintains that it did not breach Rule 4 of the Rules for Interstate Competitions and is currently working with its legal team to consider its options," the SACA chief executive Keith Bradshaw said. "Given the matter is still under consideration no further comments will be made at this time."

The official recruiting period for states began on Wednesday after CA announced their list of centrally-contracted players for the coming year.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (April 7, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

@dashgar The SCG is supposed to be the most spin friendly pitch in Australia. It's why Hauritz Casson and Katich (for batting against spin) came to Sydney. In recent years though NSW has been a conveyor belt of Fast bowling production. this is even after they fund a whole batch of of some special Bulli soil that was suposed to keep the spin friendly nature of the pitch intact.

Posted by Thefakebook on (April 4, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

SA Red Backs play the most number spinner among all the states in Australia.You know Lyon,C.Bailey,Botha,Brad Young(in BBLs),Boyce(again for the Strikers),Dan Christian(kidding) any way why add more????

Posted by Meety on (April 4, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

@Dashgar on (April 4, 2013, 12:20 GMT) - "...Ideally we'd have a shield comp that would produce pitches that sometimes required 2 spinners..." - IMO that is the more practical way to go about the spin-issue. The problem being, that some grounds have had such crud weather over the last couple of years, they wouldn't be able to produce a "dust-bowl" if they tried! Rather than introduce a new team to the Shield, in the Short term, they could have a FC side that does NOT compete in the Shield. This means that they would NOT have the "need" to produce "result" pitches. Pretty sure Tassie, QLD & WA had FC status but didn't participate in the Shield until later. I would say a an Acadamy team with players not required for State duties that week end would be the best fit, (given often there is only 2 Shield games during the week). The non-Shield side would be easier to implement & wouldn't result in lopsided Shield contests (like the Comets experiment).

Posted by fazald on (April 4, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

I reckon CA should give top priority to spin bowlers since there is a dearth of spin bowlers in this country. We have to make sure that Muirhead is given all the support to join a state side and continue playing without having to sit in the stands since there are other spinners in the side who cannot be dropped. If the NSW state side could allow their cricketers to play for other state sides surely Victoria should allow Muirhead to pursue his cricketing career with South Australia. The best way to combat the lack of spin bowlers in the country and improve our batting strength against good quality spin bowling is to ask groundsmen in the country to prepare both fast as well as spin friendly wickets like in India where the wickets help the fast bowlers initially and then tend to take spin later on. This kids talent should not be wasted since his action says it all that he could be the next Shane Warne.

Posted by Dashgar on (April 4, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

Ideally we'd have a shield comp that would produce pitches that sometimes required 2 spinners. Especially with players like O'Keefe, Maxwell and Krezja who are good enough with the bat to be at least a number 7 batsman. I'm fine if 12 or so players are competing for limited spots, I just want those spots to be genuinely there. Too often spinners don't have any work to do even when they are picked. An extra team or two will only help if we have pitches for spinners otherwise we'll just see 8 new medium fast bowlers getting a run.

Posted by Rowayton on (April 4, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Dashgar, as a Canberra person I would be happy if they just increased the shield by one to include a 'Territories' team which played 3 home games in Darwin and 3 in Canberra. Each year here we see the best players (and umpires) in our grade comp disappear to contest Shield places, which of course affects overall quality. Over recent times we've lost a heap of players who are now borderline Shield players - like Floros (Qld), Behrendorf and Rogers (WA), Ryan Carters and Will Sheridan (Vic), Dawson (NSW) etc etc, not to mention Lyon and Haddin. We produce enough players to fill at least half a reasonable Shield team.

Posted by zenboomerang on (April 4, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

With just 6 teams & grounds that predominantly suit faster bowlers it is amazing we have any decent spin bowlers...

O'Keefe ranked 16th in wkts this season, Agar 21st, Fawad Ahmed 25th (3 matches), followed by Hauritz, Zampa, Beer, Maxwell, Boyce, Krejza, Holland, Doherty + Botha (leaving out Lyon) = 12 spinners for 6 positions in Shield... How in the world are spinners ever going to get any real match time, especially if you are the 3rd/4th ranked Vic spinner - it really is a joke...

Posted by zenboomerang on (April 4, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

With SACA having Muirheads BBL contract I find it funny that they cannot talk to him about his future commitments to SA (BBL) - sure he may have a SS & Ryobi contract with Vic but it sure does leave a lot of holes in any legal findings due to CA's competition structures... So looking at it from SA's point of view, is it illegal for Vic to talk to Muirhead about any 20/20 commitments as that would breach the SACA contract?... Think CA have dug themselves another hole...

Posted by farkin on (April 4, 2013, 1:50 GMT)

he may have to go interstate but there is the right way to do it and saca did it wrong now saca are doing an appeal

Posted by Dashgar on (April 4, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

I agree Blink. There is a big argument to increase the shield by two teams (ACT and NT). This would provide more opportunities for players and more variety of pitches. When you add Boyce and Beer to your list that is 8 spinners capable of contesting for a test spot. Not too shabby at all with most of them pretty young.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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