Play­ers win $ 500m deal as pay war ends

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - RUS­SELL GOULD

A RECORD player pay­ment pool of $ 500 mil­lion will form the cor­ner­stone of cricket’s five- year pay deal which was fi­nally agreed to yes­ter­day morn­ing.

An in- prin­ci­ple heads of agree­ment has been signed with a view to play­ers hav­ing an of­fi­cial vote on the pro­posal which the Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion has rec­om­mended they give the green light.

The Ashes have been saved and c cap­tain Steve Smith is now free to lead h his men to Bangladesh later this m month, Aus­tralia’s first Test tour there si since 2006, and fe­male play­ers have se se­cured the big­gest pay rise in women’s sp sport. The mod­ernised rev­enue share model will give big in­creases in pay- ments to in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic play­ers with 120 fe­male play­ers in­cluded in the deal for the first time.

Back pay will be given to the roughly 230 play­ers who have been out of con­tract since the pre­vi­ous Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing ex­pired on June 30, which in­cludes na­tional and state play­ers, once the new deal is fi­nalised, which could take up to six weeks. Talks that be­gan last Novem­ber but stalled for much of this year ac­cel­er­ated re­cently amid the threat of a po­ten­tial boy­cott of this month’s twoTest tour of Bangladesh.

The in­creased in­volve­ment of Cricket Aus­tralia boss James Suther­land in re­cent times has­tened a move to­wards agree­ment and amid a threat from him last week of tak­ing the mat­ter to ar­bi­tra­tion if de­lays con­tin­ued, a marathon week­end of talks brought the deal even closer. Ac­cu­sa­tions were veiled that Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion CEO Al­is­tair Ni­chol­son and his team were tak­ing things too slow this week as they pored over ev­ery de­tail, and in­for­ma­tion was be­ing ex­changed via phone and email, frus­trat­ing those at CA head­quar­ters.

But when the par­ties came face- to­face yes­ter­day morn­ing with all changes made to what was a fi­nal draft, they shook hands and con­firmed a 10month im­passe, that had at times threat­ened not only the tour of Bangladesh but also this sum­mer’s Ashes, was over.

“It will re­store much needed se­cu­rity to the game of cricket,” Suther­land said. “It’s a sen­si­ble com­pro­mise from both par­ties. Change is never easy but some­times it is nec­es­sary.”

Suther­land de­nied it was an out­right vic­tory for play­ers and said it was the loom­ing re­al­ity of a Bangladesh tour be­ing lost that proved the im­pe­tus for a deal.

Ni­chol­son said the re­solve of play­ers was strong and the out­come had re­sulted from a uni­fied stance.

“The re­solve is very strong in the play­ing group. While play­ers are now keen to get into camp and play for Aus­tralia the part­ner­ship and rev­enue share model was im­por­tant to them so re­solve was very strong,” he said.

“I think it’s an im­por­tant thing for the game and I do be­lieve play­ers have said they want to main­tain a part­ner­ship and rev­enue share.

“There was need for com­pro­mise in cer­tain ar­eas and that’s im­por­tant.”

GREAT RE­SULT: Aus­tralian cap­tain Steve Smith leads his team from the field dur­ing a Test match against South Africa in Ho­bart last year.

CA Boss James Suther­land.

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