CA con­fi­dent Aus­tralians will be pad­ding up for Ashes series Pitch to save cricket

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BEN HORNE

CRICKET Aus­tralia be­lieves 25 days is enough time to save the baggy green from be­ing brought into dis­re­pute.

On Au­gust 18 Steve Smith’s side are sched­uled to board a plane for a two Test series in Bangladesh.

If they don’t fly it will mark Aus­tralian cricket’s dark­est day.

The na­tional pas­time be­ing sac­ri­ficed by a war­ring sport that has too much money.

How­ever, CA chief James Suther­land came out of a crit­i­cal four- hour meet­ing with play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion coun­ter­part Alis­tair Ni­chol­son yes­ter­day con­fi­dent that the train hasn’t left the tracks.

The Ashes will be saved, and the Bangladesh Test tour re­mains on the right path.

It’s un­der­stood Suther­land yes­ter­day sought a please ex­plain from Ni­chol­son as to why the Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion felt it nec­es­sary to send an email to play­ers in­di­cat­ing the drawn out ne­go­ti­a­tion progress had all but gone back to square one.

CA’s opin­ion be­ing that noth­ing had bro­ken down to war­rant such an alarmist reac- tion, the ACA de­fend­ing their ac­tions by ar­gu­ing they have a duty to 230 un­em­ployed play­ers want­ing an­swers.

What is clear is that the re­spec­tive pro­pos­als both sides have put for­ward for an im­me­di­ate res­o­lu­tion have not sat­is­fied the op­po­si­tion.

Cricket Aus­tralia be­lieves the ACA’s terms sheet has al­tered num­bers which if rat­i­fied would see play­ers earn more money than un­der the orig­i­nal model and less cash would find its way to grass­roots.

On the other hand, the ACA are fum­ing that CA’s draft let­ter ex­cludes all men- tion of “rev­enue share” – among other stick­ing points – which they ar­gue is sym­bolic of the gov­ern­ing body’s need to “win ev­ery­thing”.

Cricket Aus­tralia said Suther­land and Ni­chol­son’s oneon- one meet­ing has sat­is­fied them that ne­go­ti­a­tions have not bro­ken down to the ex­tent the ACA has claimed.

“Cricket Aus­tralia will not com­ment on de­tails of the ne­go­ti­a­tion but pro­duc­tive dis­cus­sions were held to­day and progress is be­ing made on a range of is­sues,” said a CA spokesper­son.

CA has dis­missed the ACA’s week­end about the stunt.

The ACA yes­ter­day called their pro­posal a “Peace Plan” to break the im­passe and claimed they are the only side show­ing flex­i­bil­ity.

“Reaching in prin­ci­ple agree­ment is what the play­ers have at­tempted to do this week as a way of break­ing the dead­lock and not jeop­ar­dis­ing any more cricket,” said Ni­chol­son.

“The play­ers in the lat­est ACA of­fer have moved a long way.

“We are seek­ing the same kind of move­ment from CA.” email state to play­ers of play as a

IDEAL CON­DI­TIONS: Moun­tain bike rid­ers on the start line for the 2017 Paluma Push race yes­ter­day.

James Suther­land.

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