Former Australian Test batter Michael Slater has reportedly been dumped by Channel 7 ahead of the 2021/22 summer of cricket.
Slater has served on Channel 7’s commentary team since the free-to-air broadcaster secured the cricket rights in 2018, but he has reportedly failed to win a new deal this year.
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As first revealed by The Daily Telegraph, Channel 7 decided not to renew the 51-year-old’s contract due to budgetary restraints.
“Unfortunately business decisions have to be made from time to time and unfortunately we’re not in a position to renew it (Slater’s contract),” Channel 7 Head of Sport Lewis Martin said in a statement.
But according to The Daily Telegraph, Slater’s infamous public challenging of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this year at least partly contributed to his Channel 7 exit.
Back in May, Slater unloaded on the Prime Minister following the Australian government’s decision to block citizens from returning home from India.
Slater tweeted at the time: “If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace!
“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system.
“I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect.
“And for those who think this is a money exercise. Well forget it. This is what I do for a living and I have not made a penny having left early. So please stop the abuse and think of the thousands dying in India each day. It’s called empathy. If only our government had some!”
The controversial outburst reportedly did not sit comfortably with fellow cricketers or Channel 7 executives at the time.
Morrison responded by saying it was “absurd” for Slater to accuse him of having “blood” on his hands.
Slater played 74 Tests and 42 one-day internationals for Australia, scoring 6299 runs and 14 centuries.
Before joining Channel 7’s team three years ago, Slater worked alongside Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry as part of the Channel 9 commentary team.