Players plot next pay move
AUSTRALIAN Cricketers’ Association chief executive Alastair Nicholson will meet with the Champions Trophy squad this weekend after Cricket Australia reportedly rejected a second request for third-party mediation to resolve the ongoing pay dispute.
The Australian team headed straight to Birmingham yes- terday after beating Sri Lanka by two wickets in a warm-up match at The Oval.
But the impasse appears to be no closer to a conclusion with News Corp Australia reporting that CA chairman David Peever won’t budge on his refusal to negotiate with anyone else but the ACA.
The two parties are in a stalemate over the governing body’s push to scrap a 20-year- old revenue sharing pay deal for all professional men and women players.
The ACA has enlisted union heavyweight and former Labor minister Greg Combet to act on behalf of the players in a row that is threatening to rip the game apart.
Skipper Steve Smith said last week he hoped a resolution would be reached soon following ACA chairman Greg Dyer’s new approach to CA. The initial offer was rejected out of hand by former Rio Tinto boss Peever, but after it emerged the union had set up a business to take control of the players’ image rights, they hoped he would reconsider.
Smith confirmed the whole Australia squad had signed up to the new business in a move that could potentially leave CA unable to use any images of its biggest names after June 30, when the current agreement expires, less than four months before a home Ashes series.
The team, which meets New Zealand in their tournament opener next Friday, will be in Birmingham for the next seven days.
The players have been given today off before resuming training tomorrow ahead of a second warm-up match against Pakistan at Edgbaston.
Opener Aaron Finch said the squad had met to discuss the dispute when it arrived in England last week but players were confident the ACA will get a deal they are comfortable with.
“It was addressed when we arrived and what we said was that we weren’t going to talk about it,” Finch said.