No retreat, says Smith, as players face long battle
TEST captain Steve Smith says Australia’s unemployed cricketers are prepared for a long fight and won’t buckle in a standoff with Cricket Australia growing uglier by the day.
Smith has been criticised for his relative absence from the front lines of the biggest issue in Australian cricket which has left around 230 national and state cricketers for over a week.
After playing almost nonstop from last October through to the Champions Trophy exit last month, the national captain has been on a long overdue holiday.
Smith has maintained contact with the ACA throughout, and even dialled in via video link to the historic players meeting in Sydney last Sunday unemployed where the players turned up the pressure on CA to open the door to mediation.
It was revealed yesterday that ACA general manager Tim Cruickshank was flying to India this week to sell image rights of Australian cricketers to would- be sponsors.
Smith and Test teammates David Warner, Mitchell Starc and even Glenn Maxwell are massive names on the cashed- up subcontinent and the ACA, which has lost $ 4 million in annual funding, now has control of their image rights.
Any money raised would go to funding unemployed domestic male and female players through what looms as a lengthy stand- off and Smith said the players would stay united, for as long it takes.
“I’ll say what we as players have been saying for some time now: we are not giving up the revenue sharing model for all players,” Smith wrote in a lengthy Instagram post.
“But, through the ACA we are willing to make important changes to modernise the existing model.
“We are and have always been willing to make those changes.
“We are determined to keep revenue sharing for all.”