Cricket is a game known for its traditions.
Similarly, in the 1970s the game in Australia was controlled by the Australian Cricket Board or ‘ACB’, whose heritage could be traced back to 1905. The emergence of World Series Cricket now presented the long established and relatively conservative entity with a radically different model for the game’s future beyond its scope of power.
The ACB was not only entrenched in the game’s traditions, but in the way in which it managed the game. Despite the growth in professionalism and commercialism across all forms of sport at the time, the Board believed that the players’ role and compensation was adequate and in keeping with the game’s traditions.
This view was not shared by its own players and the scene was now set for conflict.
While the fracture between the ACB or ‘establishment’ and WSC had begun over television rights, it was now set to split the game in two. From the ACB’s perspective, Mr. Packer still required a great deal of planning and supporting infrastructure to be put in place before his proposed series of exhibition matches could take place.
Most importantly, he didn’t even have any players to call upon. Or did he?