Australia skipper Steve Smith assured everyone that his side is focused on their match against England and are not distracted by the pay dispute that is going on with their own board.
Cricket Australia (CA) has threatened not to pay contracted players beyond the June 30 expiry of their current financial deal if they do not accept a new offer. But the Aussie players have rejected the new contracts. Australia’s vice-captain David Warner has recently warned the CA that the players might even skip the upcoming Ashes if the pay dispute is not settled.
Despite such troublesome relations with their own board, Smith is confident his side will remain focused on their match against England.
“We’re not worried about that(pay dispute) at all. We know the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association) is handling that back home.For us, it’s about concentrating on this tournament and tomorrow (Saturday) is a big game for everyone in this group,” said Smith. “The Champions Trophy only comes around every four years, and it’s the second biggest tournament after the World Cup, so we’ve got to be focused on that.”
Australia is currently standing with 2 points in Group A. For them to qualify to the next stage of the tournament they have to win against England, today at Edgbaston. If they lose their match or if the match is abandoned due to rain Bangladesh will qualify alongside England to the Champions Trophy semi-finals.
Smith is hopeful that the big occasion will bring out the best from his players.“Obviously, it’s a must-win match for us … essentially a quarter-final,” said Smith.The dynamic right-hand batsman added ,“That usually does bring out the best of the Australia cricket team in big tournaments. So let’s hope that is the case tomorrow.”