Women in tight spot
OUT of pocket players are ready to fight Cricket Australia over their refusal to back pay them for the ugly pay war that now threatens to send women’s cricketers into debt.
With their current contracts now well and truly expired, unemployed female players across the country will be forced to apply to the Australian Cricketers Association for a monthly loan next week to pay rent and meet other vital expenses; such is their level of desperation.
However, that loan will need to be paid back to the ACA once the war is over, and combined with Cricket Australia’s strident stance to not back pay for time elapsed between MOUs, even the advent of a new deal could leave many young women’s players fighting to get out of the red.
The average female cricketer earned just $ 22,000 a year last season and is the group under the fiercest financial pressure the longer this protracted saga drags on.
Decorated former Australian cricketer Jodie Fields is the ACA’s female operations manager and believes CA’s resolve to funnel money they otherwise would have owed players into a grassroots fund – estimated to be worth $ 1.2 million a fortnight – is a negotiation tactic with huge ramifications for young cricketers.
“I think that was always going to be a big negotiating ploy by Cricket Australia to bring out the ‘ we’re not going to pay back pay,” Fields told The Daily Telegraph.
“But that’s why we feel it’s important players keep showing good faith and turning up to training, because we feel that if they’re going to keep continuing to work and do what they’re required to as players, then they should be back paid.
“That’s something the ACA won’t be backing down from.”
Cricket Australia has lucrative contract offers on the table for female players and argue it’s not their responsibility to back pay players who have the option of accepting deals.
“CA has previously confirmed that players without contracts will not be eligible to receive back pay when a new MOU is eventually agreed,” a statement said.
Fields said she admired female players around the country for their unity amid enormous stress and anxiety.
“The players understand broader picture,” she said. the