Cricket deal close
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.