Aus­tralia train de­spite tour boy­cott threat

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Play­ers turned up for train­ing yes­ter­day ahead of the Aus­tralia A tour of South Africa, de­spite the threat to boy­cott the trip be­cause of a bit­ter pay dis­pute. Af­ter months of ne­go­ti­a­tions the play­ers and Cricket Aus­tralia (CA) have failed to reach agree­ment on a new pay deal, leav­ing 230 play­ers un­em­ployed since the end of June when their con­tracts ex­pired.

The Aus­tralian Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ACA) ex­ec­u­tive Alis­tair Ni­chol­son said a “sig­nif­i­cant break­through” in the stand-off was needed by Fri­day for the South Africa tour to pro­ceed.

Nev­er­the­less, play­ers were stick­ing to their sched­ule and re­ported for train­ing with coach Ja­son Gille­spie in Bris­bane for the tour which is due to start on July 12.

“As a coach, I’ll help the play­ers pre­pare as well as we can,” Aus­tralia A coach Gille­spie told re­porters.

“We have to have the at­ti­tude as if we are go­ing to be trav­el­ling.” The pay row also threat­ens to de­rail up­com­ing Aus­tralia tours to Bangladesh and In­dia as well as this year’s pres­tige home Ashes se­ries against Eng­land. Cricket Aus­tralia’s na­tional tal­ent man­ager Greg Chap­pell told re­porters that he re­mained op­ti­mistic that a swift so­lu­tion could be found. “I’m ex­pect­ing that we will see a pos­i­tive res­o­lu­tion in the not too dis­tant fu­ture and we will get back to fo­cus­ing on the cricket,” he said yes­ter­day.

CA and the play­ers’ union hit an im­passe af­ter the board at­tempted to scrap a 20-year-old ar­range­ment of giv­ing crick­eters a fixed share of rev­enues, in favour of di­vid­ing sur­pluses among elite play­ers and of­fer­ing a pay rise. For­mer Aus­tralian cap­tain Michael Clarke urged the par­ties to ex­tend the ex­ist­ing deal for 12 months to al­low for more ne­go­ti­a­tions. “Just keep the same MOU (Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing) for the next 12 months to al­low ne­go­ti­a­tions to, let’s say the word con­tinue, but sort ne­go­ti­a­tions out,” he said in Syd­ney. “The play­ers want to play, they want to play for their coun­try, there’s no doubt about it.” —AFP

BRIS­BANE: Aus­tralia ‘A’ tour squad cap­tain Us­man Khawaja takes part in a cricket train­ing ses­sion at Al­lan Bor­der Field in Bris­bane yes­ter­day. — AFP

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