Stuart MacGill could face trial against Cricket Australia

Former Australia test cricketer Stuart MacGill appeared nervous at his appearance in court.

Former Australia test cricketer Stuart MacGill appeared nervous at his appearance in court.

Former Australian test cricketer Stuart MacGill has been given days to seek legal representation otherwise he could face trial in his A$2.6 million injury case against Cricket Australia.

MacGill, having been a no-show in a hearing in the Victorian County Court earlier this year, represented himself at Monday's directions hearing before Justice McDonald. He appeared nervous and struggled to articulate his case.

He had lodged a A$1.6 million case for loss of match payments and prizemoney, and almost A$1 million in interest, plus costs, in January 2015.

Stuart MacGill in action for Australia against the West Indies in 2008.
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Stuart MacGill in action for Australia against the West Indies in 2008.

MacGill, who played 44 tests and claimed 208 wickets at 29.01, had claimed CA had neglected or failed to pay him injury payments over a two-year period from May 2008 when he was unable to play test cricket because of injury.

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The case is due to go to trial on August 14 but MacGill, 46, said on Monday he had hoped for court-ordered mediation. This would be held before an associate judge.

He said he had not realised court-ordered mediation was disallowed because he had represented himself but said he hoped to raise the funds within days to secure a solicitor and apply for mediation.

"I will just have to try and work out if the numbers stack up," he said.

MacGill also owes other fees. It's understood he had sought a career in the media after he stopped playing but that did not eventuate.

CA is keen for mediation but the two parties will be allowed to have only private mediation if MacGill fails to secure legal representation. Under previous orders, mediation must be held by July 28.

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Justice McDonald said it would be a "very sensible move" for MacGill to seek a solicitor.

In terms of MacGill's overall claim, CA lawyer Ben Ihle said MacGill had failed "to do a number of things to be entitled" to compensation under his contract.

In his writ, MacGill said he had endured several injuries through his career, including an ankle bone fracture, cartilage damage to his right knee, nerve damage affecting both hands and wrists, bone fracture to right elbow, finger pain in both hands and rotator cuff displacement in his right bowling shoulder.

Ihle said MacGill's claim was "really a debt claim, not a damages claim".  Ihle had also raised the prospect of seeking a delay in the trial date because of the need "for witnesses to give evidence by video".

He said there were witnesses with domestic and international obligations, including one who had an "arrangement" in Samoa.

Justice McDonald said he would be "unsympathetic" to any delay in the hearing from August 14, should mediation not resolve the case in the meantime. A trial has been set over four days.

MacGill left court via a back entrance and did not comment.

In his writ, MacGill said he had consulted then CA team manager Steve Bernard and captain Ricky Ponting in May 2008 about how he was unable to continue on the tour of the West Indies because of his injuries. He had played in the opening two tests.

MacGill's claim of A$1,640,890 included tour payments for 15 away test matches (A$846,090), tour payments for 11 home game test matches (A$140,800), retainer payments at A$297,000 for 52 weeks, retainer payments at A$333,000 for 52 weeks and prizemoney for nine test series at A$27,000.

In the writ, MacGill said CA had signed him for one year and offered him a further one-year contract for 2008-09 campaign before he was "incapable" of playing as a result of "injuries and complications from injuries". He played his final test in the West Indies.

The writ was issued by solicitor Julie Singleton and Hicksons Lawyers. Earlier this year, Singleton took out an apprehended violence order against her former boyfriend MacGill, who agreed to the court order but did not not accept any fault on his behalf.

 - Sydney Morning Herald

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