Suther­land pro­poses ar­bi­tra­tion

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

MEL­BOURNE: Cricket Aus­tralia has pro­posed tak­ing their pay dis­pute with the na­tion’s elite play­ers to ar­bi­tra­tion if there is no res­o­lu­tion by early next week, chief ex­ec­u­tive James Suther­land said yes­ter­day.

Aus­tralia’s top play­ers have ef­fec­tively been un­em­ployed since the pre­vi­ous five-year pay deal ex­pired on June 30, forc­ing the can­cel­la­tion of the A tour of South Africa as the ac­ri­mo­nious ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tin­ued.

Suther­land said the im­passe threat­ened next month’s tour of Bangladesh, the one-day se­ries in In­dia that fol­lows and even the home Ashes se­ries at the end of the year and it was “time to get the show back on the road”.

“We see the in­creas­ing need for ur­gency to get this mat­ter re­solved,” he told re­porters in Mel­bourne.

“We’re propos­ing in the short-term that both par­ties get to­gether with re­ally strong in­tent to get this deal sorted by early next week. In the event that it’s not re­solved, we’re propos­ing any resid­ual mat­ters be sent to ar­bi­tra­tion.”

Suther­land, who sug­gested the union had been guilty of de­lay­ing tac­tics, said if the dis­pute went to ar­bi­tra­tion, play­ers could im­me­di­ately be con­tracted on a short-term ba­sis to al­low them to tour Bangladesh.

The scathing re­sponse of the Aus­tralian Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ACA) later yes­ter­day il­lus­trated that Suther­land’s com­ments had done lit­tle to ame­lio­rate the ac­ri­mony of the nine-month dis­pute.

“Cricket Aus­tralia has lost the play­ers and most of the game’s stake­hold­ers in the (dis­pute),” the union said.

“And now, af­ter push­ing the play­ers into un­em­ploy­ment, an ex­tended pe­riod of a lack of fi­nan­cial trans­parency, af­ter three months of re­ject­ing me­di­a­tion and only af­ter the re­cent ar­rival of the CA chief ex­ec­u­tive into talks, CA dis­cov­ers the need for ur­gency.”

Aus­tralia vice-cap­tain David Warner blamed the board for the im­passe.

“This Baggy (Green) means the world to me. My­self and all the other crick­eters, fe­male and male, want to get out there and play,” the left-handed opener said on his In­sta­gram ac­count.

“We of­fered $30m of our money to grass­roots as a peace plan. It was ig­nored. We asked for me­di­a­tion twice be­fore and it was re­jected. Now CA says there is a cri­sis.

“The play­ers are un­em­ployed and some are hurt­ing fi­nan­cially but con­tinue to train.”

De­spite pre­fer­ring me­di­a­tion to the “ad­ver­sar­ial process” of ar­bi­tra­tion, the ACA said it would nev­er­the­less study the pro­posal and “con­tinue to work in­ten­sively” on the ne­go­ti­a­tions. – Reuters

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