Wednesday 14 November 2007 

Media Boycott Extends To Second Test After Talks Stall

International news agencies are to extend their boycott of Sri Lanka's tour of Australia to the second Test in Hobart after talks with Cricket Australia stalled.

Cricket Australia want to charge agencies for the rights to use photos taken at the ground, which the agencies refuse to do so on the grounds that it threatens journalistic integrity.

Reuters, the Associated Press, Agence France-Press are the organisations involved in the boycott.

"Reuters remains adamant on its right to distribute sports news pictures freely," said Monique Villa, Managing Director of Reuters Media.

"I met with Cricket Australia last Sunday in London and nothing has really changed: they want to control our news and who can receive it, which is totally unacceptable."

The three agencies were locked out of the first Test in Brisbane and were hoping for a breakthrough and Sri Lankan cricket authorities have appealed to Cricket Australia as they are concerned that should Muttiah Muralitharan break the Test wicket-taking record, there will be little or no coverage of the event.

He needs six to overtake Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, whose record stands at 708.