Paine, Langer urge CA, Seven to end stoush

Test captain Tim Paine hopes Cricket Australia and Seven can iron out their differences after the broadcaster's recent threat to terminate their TV contract.

TIM PAINE of Australia during the 4th Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
TIM PAINE of Australia during the 4th Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Justin Langer and Tim Paine have urged Cricket Australia and its disgruntled free-to-air broadcaster Seven to come together and sort out their stoush.

Langer's enlarged squad are preparing for their series opener in England, having become the first national sporting side to leave Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marnus Labuschagne and Alex Carey blasted impressive centuries in a Twenty20 tune-up, but their selection hopes won't be analysed nearly as much as the escalating spat between CA and Seven.

Seven boss James Warburton last week described CA as a "train wreck", threatening to terminate the broadcaster's $450-million contract with the sport.

Seven, having tried earlier this year to offload its BBL rights to Ten, is seeking a reduction in fees while reportedly also trying to offload its commitment to cover the Twenty20 competition.

CA is adamant it will not renegotiate a cheaper deal, insisting it can deliver a full summer of cricket.

Things are likely to escalate if CA's interim chief executive Nick Hockley fails to appease Seven, which still has four years to run on its deal, before the next payment is due on September 15

"Partnerships to me are everything," national coach Langer told reporters.

"My opening partnership, my partnership with my wife ... my family ... my players and friends.

"In partnerships you have honest conversations. You sit down together and you get win-win situations.

"I'm sure it will be (a win-win)."

One of Warburton's chief concerns is the prospect of a BBL talent drain, caused by enlarged national squads and biosecurity protocols preventing free movement of players.

Langer made it clear he wants those on the fringe of the side to play as much domestic cricket as possible, but conceded the "biggest people who will have a say in the current climate are the medicos".

"There's going to be some biosecurity restrictions we have to abide by," he said.

Test skipper Paine, who was on Seven's books as a BBL commentator in 2019-20, called on CA and the broadcaster to "work together and do what's best for the game".

"They're going to get together this week and have a chat. It's probably a little bit overdue," Paine said.

"Hopefully they then get on the same page ... iron a few things out."

Paine, Langer, Warburton and Hockley are all keen for some clarity regarding the 2020-21 fixtures, which are headlined by the four-Test series between Australia and India.

Paine suggested the domestic schedule could be finalised in the next few days.

"A few final things need to be ticked off at government level," he said on Wednesday.

"My understanding is it has been ticked off by the states, by CA, by the players."

The Sheffield Shield season is likely to start in October at a hub in Adelaide, something Paine said his teammates would embrace.

"For us to go into hubs for a month or two or three is a pretty small price to pay to keep the game moving forward," the wicketkeeper said.