Slater kicked off plane over ‘heated’ fight
FORMER Australian Test cricketer Michael Slater's removal from a Sydney domestic flight after a 'heated argument' with friends has cast further doubt on his future as a commentator with the Seven Network.
Slater was booted from the Qantas regional flight on Sunday afternoon before it was due to depart Sydney for Wagga.
Macquarie Radio digital content producer Nick Fergus told Ray Hadley on 2GB Slater was removed after an argument with two female friends began to escalate.
"He's been involved in an extremely heated argument - this has been described as not a run of the mill argument - it was yelling, it was swearing and it was only getting worse as they moved to their seats," Fergus said.
"What we're told by witnesses is Michael removed himself from the situation and went to the bathrooms of the plane.
"As they were doing the safety briefings he remained in the bathroom. Crews repeatedly asked him to come out and he refused.
"At that point the plane couldn't take off and it was being delayed further and further and crew were forced to call airport security who boarded the plane."
The 74-seat flight to Wagga was delayed by up to 30 minutes as airline staff and security dealt with Slater.
Slater issued a statement to Macquarie Radio which read: "I did have an argument with two friends while boarding a flight to Wagga and I apologise for the inconvenience this caused other passengers on the flight".
The incident follows reports last week Slater is on the outer at the Seven Network due to rumours of an unreliable nature and suggestions he is hard to work with.
Channel 7 denied Slater was set to be axed for this summer's cricket coverage and refused to be drawn back into the debate following the airport incident on Sunday.
"At this stage of the cricket season, Michael is working for a number of broadcasters," a Seven spokesman said.
"He doesn't actually come back into our world until the start of the season (2019/2020)."
Slater played 74 Tests and 42 ODIs for Australia before becoming a mainstay of the Channel 9 cricket commentary team. He shifted to Channel 7 when the network bagged broadcast rights for the 2018-19 summer.
He remains contracted to Seven although he will return to Channel 9 to bolster the network's coverage of the Cricket World Cup next month.