November 5, 2002

Nash bounces out of retirement to pummel NZC

The playing career of often-injured 30-year-old cricket all-rounder Dion Nash is over, but today he seemed to regard himself as coming off his long run with a hard and shiny ball, and aiming bouncers at old enemies at the other end of the pitch.

Nash was one of three New Zealand Cricket Players' Association spokesmen who used an Auckland press conference to tell New Zealand Cricket its take-it-or-leave-it offer to end the on-going dispute was not accepted by the players, whatever the risk of player-contract negotiations being abandoned.

In his opening burst Nash said the players wanted to get out and play cricket. If the deadlock between NZC and NZCPA was only about money, said Nash, it would have been broken by now.

"The argument is fundamentally about the relationship of the NZC and its players," said Nash. "That relationship is unhealthy, and the way the cricketers have been dealt with underlines how unhealthy it has become."

Nash said the NZC's dirty politics had been aired in public, when all the negotiations should have been decided behind closed doors.

"This is only one of many issues the players have with NZC," said Nash.

"If this was only about money it would be broken a long time ago."

Nash claimed the NZC had not treated its players well, and cited his own experiences when he was injured.

"Under Chris Doig, NZC had an insurance scheme which paid a percentage of your costs when you were injured, but after that you were on your own. If you did not go with that insurance company you didn't get anything."

Premiums became very high if there was more than one injury.

"NZC is refusing to acknowledge there is a problem between itself and the players."

Later Nash returned with another bouncer for NZC, after chiding an interviewer for not having done his homework before the press conference. Nash said he had problems with New Zealand Cricket from his first selection for the Test side. Every year after that there were further problems.

"New Zealand Cricket had a very successful way of dealing with [problems like] that. They picked the top three or four players and paid them very well, and said 'the rest of you can go to hell'."