Players win $ 500m deal as pay war ends
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.