Watto calls off sit down with CA over Smith
Players are again at loggerheads with Cricket Australia after a planned meeting over the Emily Smith anti-corruption ban blew up on the tarmac.
President of the players' association Shane Watson has dramatically called off his Friday sit down with counterpart Earl Eddings, after receiving a pre-emptive letter from CA that ruled out any prospect of them revising Smith's controversial suspension for an Instagram prank.
Watson was flying to Melbourne alongside women's figureheads Alyssa Healy and Kristen Beams to ask Eddings to amend the sentence - and consider allowing the 24-year-old to play grade cricket - on the basis that her posting of a Hobart Hurricanes team list on social media pre-match was an innocent joke.
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But Watson says Cricket Australia's attitude to what he was hoping was an open meeting had been "pre-determined."
Just as the two parties had started to repair its relationship after the infamous pay war, the Smith saga has triggered tensions once more.
The Daily Telegraph has obtained an email Watson sent to Australian Cricketers members last night which advised that the meeting was now pointless because CA had declared the saga 'case closed'.
Smith is understood to be disappointed that CA weren't willing to even have a discussion over the merits of reviewing a decision which has devastated her career and sparked outrage from many ex-players.
"… We were pleased Cricket Australia recently accepted a request from the ACA for a face-to-face meeting with myself and fellow ACA Board Members Alyssa Healy and Kristen Beams," wrote Watson to members.
"This made me hopeful the concerns of the players - a crucial partner in the development of the game and in maintaining its reputation for fairness for all and vigilance against corruption - would be appropriately considered.
"However, last night (Tuesday 17 December) we received a letter which advised us formally of Cricket Australia's decision to close the matter of their sanctioning of Emily.
"As such, there is clearly no value in this meeting taking place, given the outcome has been pre-determined.
"Unfortunately, in these circumstances, the matter is now finalised. The ACA and Cricket Australia remain in fundamental disagreement on the reasonableness of Cricket Australia's sanction imposed on Emily.
"We have communicated this to Emily to her disappointment, and will continue to provide her with the support she needs and look forward to her commencing an internship with the ACA early in the New Year."
Cricket Australia had been adamant from the start they would not - and could not under the mechanics of their rules - review the decision on Smith.
They say Smith and the ACA had a window in which to appeal and chose not to.
The ACA argue that the process intimidated Smith and have questioned how Cricket Australia couldn't review its rules, when it is them who sets out the code of conduct.
CA and the ACA have made strides in repairing its relationship after the damaging pay war, but this unfortunate stand-off has put a dent in the goodwill between both parties.