The cricketing world is still reeling after the announcement of the controversial plan by Australian television magnate Kerry Packer to promote an ???
SV & CU Australian promoter Kerry Packer being interviewed
TRANSCRIPT: MEAKIN: "Mr. Packer do you think this move will help or hurt cricket?
SEQ. 1: PACKER: "I think it will help cricket."
PACKER: Well, to start with you've got a great many young people who are deciding between a professional career in cricket, in tennis, in gold -- and they look at what the golfers make, they look at what the tennis players make and they look at what the cricketers make. And I think a lot of talent -- if you can play a ball sport you can play any one of those depending on which one you choose to play -- at lot of young people are saying `we'll go for the other sports where the money is."
MEAKIN: "What do you say to people like Alec Bedser who say this is a mortal blow to test cricket?"
PACKER: "Mr Bedser is obviously a man of great intellect, but I don't know why he says that. It surely depends on whether Board of Controls around the world want to tolerate this sort of thing or whether they don't.
Now if they don't want to tolerate it they've lost the best cricketers. If they do want to tolerate it -- and we're quite prepared to work in with them in any way that we can -- then most good cricketers are going to be available for test cricket everywhere. In the era of television on and the modern day people want to see the best. They don't want to see the second best -- and if it is a mortal blow to cricket -- and I don't for one moment believe it is -- then all it really means is that cricket, as its played at the moment is not being played the correct way."
MEAKIN: "Some people have even suggested that your series won't be competition between one country and another."
PACKER: "Oh don't you think the Australian team would love -- having beaten every team in the world -- don't you think they'd like to come out and best the world Eleven? And don't you think the World Eleven -- who must start favourites -- have got sufficient pride in themselves to want to beat Australians -- push down the cocky Australian's throats -- of course there's going to be competition, there's going to be the most intense competition every seen on the cricket pitch. Both sides want to win more than they care to say."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The cricketing world is still reeling after the announcement of the controversial plan by Australian television magnate Kerry Packer to promote an ??? Australia versus The Rest of The World Series using contract players. English Captain Tony Greig, originally from South Africa, is closely involved and has been sacked by the Test and County Cricket Board as Captain of England's Test team. The controversy rages from the highest to the lowest levels, with the scheme's detractors saying cricket as it is today will be ruined. Some observers have said ??? that the matter is simply a squalid squabble about who's going to get the money-the cricket establishment or a pushy newcomer from Australia. In Sydeny, the man behind the scheme, Kerry Packer, was interviewed on Friday (13 May) by ??? reporter Peter Meakin.