The council will be led by CA chairman Earl Eddings and feature state and territory chairmen as well as ACA president Greg Dyer. CA has revealed the inaugural meeting will be held at its Jolimont headquarters in Melbourne next Thursday.
The depth and breadth of what the council will debate, and how much power it will wield, has yet to be confirmed. But the ACA has been collating information from its ongoing visits to state players to determine what issues it feels should be addressed. CA already has sub-committees and departments that focus on key areas such as scheduling, in which the ACA also has a say, but the council could ensure there is greater debate and scrutiny.
In its submission to Longstaff, the ACA had wanted the council to assess the health of cricket at all levels and its direction, the sport’s culture, the working relationship between the ACA, CA and the states, CA’s finances and “key matters of principle”. The ACA had also wanted an independent Australian Cricket Commissioner to oversee the council, but that appears doubtful.
Dyer recently said the state gatherings had been important in helping to shed light on any concerns male and female players had.
“The ACA’s role is to be the voice of the players. At the forum the players expressed their views with a considered and strong voice on how cricket in Australia can be improved,” Dyer said.
“The ideas, insights and views are vital for the continued success of cricket in Australia.”
The Longstaff report recommended the council meet twice yearly “to consider issues of strategic significance to the game”.
Longstaff said the forum was “for consultation, deliberation and voluntary agreement where consensus can be found”.
He also said it should “require CA to consider establishing a mechanism for consulting with cricket’s fan base – with the intention of developing a mechanism by which the views of fans can inform the deliberations of the Australian Cricket Council”.
CA has worked hard and implemented measures to help the Australian men’s team regain the faith and trust of the Australian public. Strong broadcast ratings for the ongoing Ashes series have shown the public has begun to warm to the team again. Despite being a central figure in the ball-tampering scandal, Steve Smith – having returned from a 12-month ban – has become somewhat of a national hero because of his deeds with the bat in the opening two Tests.