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Cox sacked for Big Bash breaches

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 23/05/2014 Chloe Saltau and Jesse Hogan

The South Australian Cricket Association has taken the drastic step of sacking high performance chief Jamie Cox for misleading the SACA board after it emerged he was at the centre of a Cricket Australia investigation into alleged breaches of Big Bash contracting rules.

The investigation, which involves recruiting for the Adelaide Strikers during a BBL embargo period, is still going but Cox, the former Tasmanian captain and former Australian selector, was a shock, high-profile casualty. It's not the first time the SACA has been in trouble for acting outside the domestic contract rules; last year it was fined $15,000 for trying to poach Victorian spinner James Muirhead.

"On Tuesday 20 May, Cricket Australia contacted SACA to advise that player recruitment activities undertaken on behalf of the Adelaide Strikers during the league's embargo period were under investigation for possible contravention of the BBL Player Contracting and Remuneration Guidelines," SACA chief executive Keith Bradshaw said.

He added that the SACA would co-operate with the investigation. "However, the internal review has thus far revealed that Jamie has failed to comply with SACA's own policies and expectations and it is for that reason that he has been dismissed."

Cox was unavailable for comment on Friday night and so was Strikers coach Darren Berry, and Cricket Australia would not divulge details of players other than to say its "integrity unit is investigating the SACA for potential breaches of CA regulations relating to the contracting of Big Bash League players ahead of BBL04".

The shock news came on the day that South Australian and Strikers batsman Callum Ferguson signed with Melbourne Renegades during the BBL's first trade week, and Nathan Reardon moved to Brisbane Heat.

Fairfax Media reported in February, during the embargo period, that Brad Hodge would leave the Melbourne Stars for the Strikers.

Teams can talk to players in that period but are prohibited from signing agreements in that time.

Meanwhile, teams are sniffing around Test hero Ryan Harris, who is yet to re-sign with Brisbane Heat.

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