Cricket Australia slammed over row with agency lockout through Sri Lanka Test

BRISBANE, Australia, Nov 9, 2007 (AFP) – Australia cricket’s governing body came under fire Friday for imposing restrictions that have locked global news agencies out of the opening Australia-Sri Lanka cricket Test in Brisbane. “And with the Indian team arriving later this summer, backed by the world’s largest cricket audience, it would be a disaster if this dispute was not settled quickly.”

The world’s top three global news agencies — Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press — suspended all coverage of the 2007-08 cricket season, also involving India, unless a deal can be agreed with Cricket Australia.

The agencies, which were Friday locked out of the second day of the Sri Lanka Test, say the dispute centres on unprecedented demands by CA, including that they hand over rights to all photos taken at matches.

The agencies were again missing during the second day’s play in the Gabba Test although local media groups have now all reached agreement with CA and are covering the match.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, which represents more than 10,000 journalists across Australia, said CA’s decision to demand a fee from the international news agencies would damage the game.

Chris Warren,