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|March 29, 1999||
Cloud over Boxing Day Test
Melbourne's traditional Boxing Day cricket Test is in doubt because of a dispute over television rights.
Australian Cricket Board chief executive Malcolm Speed admitted negotiations between the Victorian Cricket Association and the Melbourne Cricket Club have bogged down and this year's match against India will be moved from the MCG unless an agreement is reached soon.
The venue for the one-day internationals against Pakistan and India also hinge on resolution of the dispute between the two bodies.
When asked about the chances of Melbourne losing the traditional Boxing Day Test interstate, Speed replied it was a "realistic possibility".
The VCA has rejected MCC demands for control of television signals beamed from the ground. "Those negotiations having being going for three years, it's time they were resolved. I think the level of frustration is growing," Speed told a media conference to announce the 1999-2000 season programme.
Tickets for the Boxing Day Test are due to go on sale at the beginning of August, and Speed said he hopes a decision will have been made on the venue by then.
"There is some flexibility there, but that's the first deadline we'd like to keep,'' he said.
Following the World Cup, Australia will have a training camp in Brisbane before leaving for a Test and one-day series in Sri Lanka in mid-August, with an ACB advance team to ensure proper logistical and security measures are in place.
Australia will then travel to Zimbabwe for their first-ever Test against the nation, plus one-day matches.
The southern summer will see three Tests against Pakistan, in Brisbane, Hobart and Perth.
The first Test against India will be in Adelaide, with the third in Sydney and the second the subject of the dispute.
There will be 12 one-day games in a triangular series, down from 15 last year, due to Pakistan's need to return home early for their own series against Sri Lanka. AP
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