CA stew on schedule before Seven meeting

Cricket Australia has asked broadcasters to help pick the best possible schedule for this summer, having rebuffed their request for a discount in rights fees.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley is working overtime as he attempts to nail down a schedule and satisfy disgruntled broadcasters.

Seven West Media and Foxtel are seeking a reduction in their looming rights fees that form part of a six-year broadcast agreement worth $1.2 billion.

CA has repeatedly insisted it will not provide such a discount, arguing it can deliver a full season as promised.

Hockley, whose organisation was last week described as "a train wreck" in a stinging rebuke from Seven CEO James Warburton, is desperate to de-escalate the situation as a mid-September deadline for the next payment looms.

It's believed cricket's governing body has sent several draft schedules to broadcasters, asking them to nominate a preferred option.

At least one version involves the men's summer starting with six white-ball matches between Australia and India.

That would be a dream result for Fox Cricket, allowing the channel to broadcast of Virat Kohli's first six hits of the summer exclusively.

It is unlikely to sit as well with Warburton, who is expected to meet with Hockley on Friday.

The complexity of the current health crisis means that further changes, beyond those announced in coming weeks, will still be possible.

Regardless of what this international summer looks like, COVID-19 protocols and enlarged squads will make it even harder for Australia's best players to be part of the Big Bash League.

Warbuton has raged publicly about this summer's BBL talent drain and CA's scheduling, quipping his network could "telecast grade cricket for free"

National limited-overs captain Aaron Finch felt Australia's Twenty20 league has been talked down too much during the recent week.

"It is still a great product and something that we're proud of," Finch said in England.

"Yes, it would be nice if Australian players were available more.

"But I just think in the current climate with scheduling there needs to be a little bit of give and take from everywhere."

Finch's comments came a day after national coach Justin Lang and Test skipper Tim Paine both urged CA and Seven to come together and sort out their stoush for the good of the game.