Cricket deal close

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - RUS­SELL GOULD

TEAMS of lawyers and ac­coun­tants en­dured a painstak­ing ex­change of in­for­ma­tion all day yes­ter­day as the Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion con­tin­ued to fi­nesse the fi­nal draft of a pay deal.

Clauses within the near- fin­ished Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing were still be­ing ad­justed but ex­pec­ta­tions re­main strong an agree­ment between Cricket Australia and the ACA is im­mi­nent.

Book­ings had been made for an an­nounce­ment yester- day, but they were can­celled as ACA of­fi­cials con­tin­ued to seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

Time pres­sures are mount­ing with Australia’s Test squad ex­pected to as­sem­ble in Dar­win next Thursday for a train­ing camp ahead of two matches in Bangladesh.

In a pos­i­tive sign that a tour will go ahead Test bats­man Pe­ter Hand­scomb has re­turned from a county cricket stint in the UK af­ter weigh­ing an op­tion to stay when the tour was in doubt.

Aus­tralian Cap­tain Steve Smith has told CA of­fi­cials the play­ers would boy­cott Bangladesh if a deal is not done, but was con­fi­dent the two par­ties were close to end­ing the 10month im­passe.

While CA threat­ened to take the mat­ter to in­de­pen­dent ar­bi­tra­tion if there was no agree­ment this week, it’s un­der­stood suf­fi­cient ground has been made to avoid the need for the third um­pire.

More de­lays how­ever could see that op­tion raised again.

De­spite be­ing in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Australia and the world, the ACA ex­ec­u­tive is on standby to en­dorse the fi­nal doc­u­ment when things con­sid­ered “im­por­tant” to the union are ad­dressed.

But most key points around is­sues in­clud­ing the play­ers’ de­sire for a share of rev­enue were nut­ted out dur­ing marathon talks across the week­end.

Australia’s crick­eters, 230 of who have been un­em­ployed since the ex­piry of their con­tracts on June 30, will share in around $ 500 mil­lion over the next five years.

That player pay­ment pool, an in­crease of nearly $ 120 mil­lion on the last pay deal, will also be shared by around 120 fe­male play­ers for the first time.

The fi­nal value of player pay­ments will equal up to 30 per cent of cricket rev­enue, with sig­nif­i­cant changes ex­pected around where that money will come from.

Do­mes­tic play­ers alone en­joyed a 53 per cent rise in wages over the pre­vi­ous fiveyear agree­ment.

The fi­nal ver­sion of the new deal is ex­pected to in­clude a share of rev­enue above fore­cast ( which at this stage is $ 1.86 bil­lion) for all play­ers, male and fe­male.

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