ICL: Indian Cricket League

Sri Lanka fear milestone blackout


Sri Lanka’s media fear that Muttiah Muralitharan may break the world record for Test wickets without any coverage because of an ongoing media dispute.

Muralitharan has the chance to take the seven wickets he needs to overtake Shane Warne’s 708 in the second Test against Australia in Hobart on Friday, but Cricket Australia’s (CA) restrictions have locked out global news agencies.

The world’s top three global news agencies — Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press — have suspended all coverage of the 2007-08 cricket season, until a deal can be agreed with CA.

The blackout of photos, news reports, graphics and video has meant that many international cricket fans have been unable to see photos of their favourite team or read about the match’s progress.

Sri Lankan newspaper editors are increasingly frustrated as Muralitharan’s chances of passing the milestone draws near. “It is very frustrating that we will not have any picture of Murali’s record breaking achievement if he manages that in Hobart,” said Daminda Wijesuriya, sports editor of the Lankadeepa.

Another paper, The Sunday Times, demonstrated its frustration by publishing a completely black figure of a batsman in action. “This space is dedicated to a would-have-been action picture of the Test match in progress in Brisbane,” said the caption during the first Test. “The black figure is courtesy (of) Cricket Australia.”

SLC Secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan said they were hoping for a response from CA chief executive James Sutherland after appealing for an end to the blackout. The three media agencies say the dispute centres on unprecedented demands by CA, including that they hand over rights to all photos taken at matches. The agencies say the conditions imposed on photographers and journalists applying for credentials to cover cricket raise grave concerns about press freedom.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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