Aus­tralia’s play­ers re­port­edly mull Bangladesh boy­cott

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Aus­tralia’s se­nior play­ers have voted to boy­cott next month’s tour of Bangladesh un­less their long-run­ning pay dis­pute with Cricket Aus­tralia (CA) is set­tled be­fore they leave, re­ports said yes­ter­day.

Cap­tain Steve Smith and vice-cap­tain David Warner at­tended an undis­closed meet­ing with Aus­tralian Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ACA) chief ex­ec­u­tive Alas­tair Ni­chol­son to con­sider their op­tions af­ter a break­down in the talks with CA last week.

The Aus­tralian news­pa­per said the play­ers dis­cussed a range of op­tions, in­clud­ing go­ing ahead with the Bangladesh tour un­der a spe­cial con­trac­tual ar­range­ment. But they re­solved to stand by the res­o­lu­tions reached at a pre­vi­ous meet­ing and refuse to take part in any tours un­less there is a new mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing in place.

The play­ers are en­ter­ing their fourth week of un­em­ploy­ment since the fail­ure to reach a new agree­ment on pay at the end of June. The squad voted to at­tend the train­ing camp in Dar­win on Au­gust 10 but will not leave for Bangladesh a week later un­less an agree­ment is reached, the news­pa­per said. The first match of the two-Test se­ries was due to start 10 days later. The Aus­tralia A squad went through a sim­i­lar process be­fore aban­don­ing the tour to South Africa ear­lier this month. The dis­pute is over CA’s re­fusal to re­new a rev­enue-shar­ing ar­range­ment which has been part of all deals over the past two decades.

Re­ports said the ACA was close to a deal with CA last week. Play­ers pro­posed they re­tain the rev­enue-shar­ing model but sac­ri­fice up to Aus$30 mil­lion ($24 mil­lion) of their pay to grass­roots cricket.

But CA would not of­fer a rev­enue-shar­ing deal. The play­ers ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in the pro­tracted dis­pute, which threat­ens the show­piece Ashes home se­ries against England later this year.

“Not sure the play­ers can do much more to solve the dis­pute. We’re re­ally proud to of­fer up to an ex­tra $30 mil­lion for grass­roots #fair­share,” Warner tweeted. Fast bowler Pat Cum­mins added:”Play­ers are as frus­trated as any­one else. We want to play. Of­fer­ing even more to grass­roots to get a deal!!! #fair­share.”

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