Aus­tralian player rum­ble puts SA tour in jeop­ardy

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

AUS­TRALIA’S crick­eters re­jected the board’s of­fer of a re­vised pay deal yes­ter­day as the bit­ter dis­pute over a revenue-shar­ing model rum­bled on with just a week to go be­fore the cur­rent agree­ment ex­pires.

Aus­tralia’s top crick­eters face being locked out un­less a new mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing ( MoU) is struck be­tween Cricket Aus­tralia and the Aus­tralian Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ACA) be­fore the end of the month.

At the heart of the dis­pute is a long-stand­ing agree­ment that gives the players a fixed per­cent­age of the revenue of the game, a deal which CA says pre­vents them from suf­fi­ciently in­vest­ing in the grass­roots.

In a let­ter to ACA chief ex­ec­u­tive Alis­tair Nicholson, CA ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager Kevin Roberts made the new of­fer.

“Player feed­back sug­gests that the shar­ing of in­ter­na­tional cricket sur­pluses with male and fe­male do­mes­tic players and the level of pay in­creases for male state players are crit­i­cal is­sues for them,” Roberts wrote in the let­ter posted on the CA web­site.

“We are there­fore writ­ing to in­di­cate that CA is pre­pared to ad­dress these is­sues to help achieve a new MoU.”

Un­less the im­passe ends next week, the up­com­ing Aus­tralia A tour of South Africa, a two-test series in Bangladesh and a lim­ited-overs tour of In­dia are un­der threat from the dis­pute, with the Ashes also loom­ing at the end of the year.

“The ACA has ad­vised players not to sign,” the players’ body said in a state­ment.

“The let­ter pro­vided to players to­day from CA does not ac­cu­rately re­flect how far apart the par­ties remain with a week to go. The par­ties have not reached agree­ment on many fun­da­men­tal is­sues.

“The con­tract of­fers do not con­tain Revenue Shar­ing for all players, and are not what they ap­pear to be. They do not in­clude cru­cial in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing terms and con­di­tions.”

ACA pres­i­dent Greg Dyer said in an ear­lier state­ment that it was time for me­di­a­tion.

“With only seven days un­til the June 30 dead­line, the ACA calls for emergency me­di­a­tion to be con­ducted at CEO level,” Dyer said.

“With this, the ACA con­tin­ues to search for ways to re­solve the dis­pute. We are mo­ti­vated by a sense of duty to the game and its players and frus­tra­tion at the cur­rent process.”

Dyer added that a num­ber of “com­mon sense and rea­son­able re­quests” had been re­jected by CA, in­clud­ing the re­lease of fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion and fore­casts.

“The players are com­pletely united behind the ACA in these ne­go­ti­a­tion terms,” Aus­tralia cap­tain Steve Smith said yes­ter­day in a Twit­ter video posted by the ACA.

“We know that they’re work­ing in­cred­i­bly hard for us to get the best out­come for the game.” – Reuters

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