Melbourne, Feb.29 : Cricket Australia officials are preparing for a summit with senior players to help repair the fracturing relationship from this summer of discontent.
The summit was originally scheduled for this week, but with CA Chairman Creagh O'Connor suffering from a chronic back injury, the summit has been postponed, The Australian newspaper reports.
The relationship has been strained further with Cricket Australia's haste to reprimand Matthew Hayden for calling Harbhajan Singh an "obnoxious little weed".
Captain Ricky Ponting pointed out the contrast of Hayden's situation compared to Indian players who have transgressed in a similar way.
"Matty says that and they (Indian players) have got all sorts of comments again through the newspapers, a lot of which have no fact or truth in them whatsoever, but that's what we've had to deal with right the way through the summer," Ponting told The Australian yesterday.
Players still feel let down by the failure of CA to support Ponting and Andrew Symonds in particular over a racial abuse case Ponting brought against Harbhajan under International Cricket Council procedures.
CA last night claimed a dinner involving O'Connor, chief executive James Sutherland and possibly other officials, with leading players, was originally proposed by Hayden after the Adelaide Test, when CA convinced its players to downgrade the racial abuse charge against Harbhajan.
"It's been a long and difficult summer. It's fair to say that from time to time, even in the best of families, there are disagreements on issues," said CA spokesman Peter Young.
"But I think the nine other Test-playing nations would give their right arm to have the relationship we have with our playing group.
"Part of the strength of the relationship is that we do have the ability to argue about things. We have in the past and we will in the future."
Ponting claimed it was the most difficult summer he had experienced in a dozen years of international cricket.
Story first published: Friday, February 29, 2008, 12:16 [IST]
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