Sign or else, play­ers told

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - CRICKET RUS­SELL GOULD

TEN­SIONS be­tween Cricket Aus­tralia and its play­ers are set to ex­plode af­ter they were threat­ened with un­em­ploy­ment if they don’t sign up to CA’s pay pro­posal.

An email from chief ex­ec­u­tive James Sutherland urged them to sign the new deal be­fore the June 30 dead­line or risk not play­ing for their coun­try.

Sutherland has not sat in on ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion for the new Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing, which re­sumed last Thurs­day nearly two weeks af­ter the union re­buffed the “un­der­whelm­ing” pay of­fer from CA.

Should a new MoU not be agreed to next month, an Aus­tralia A tour to South Africa in July, and a Test tour to Bangladesh could be af­fected.

In the email, sent to ACA boss Alis­tair Ni­chol­son and for­warded to the play­ers, Sutherland said CA would not budge from its pro­posal, and de­mand play­ers sign it or they wouldn’t be al­lowed to play.

“In the ab­sence of the ACA ne­go­ti­at­ing a new MoU, play­ers with con­tracts ex­pir­ing in 2016-17 will not have con­tracts for 2017-18,” Sutherland wrote.

“To be very clear, in the ab­sence of a new MoU, CA is not con­tem­plat­ing al­ter­na­tive con­tract­ing ar­range­ments to pay play­ers be­yond 30 June if their con­tracts have ex­pired.”

The ACA, and the play­ers, have made it abun­dantly clear they do not wish to change the rev­enue shar­ing model which has been in place for 20 years.

While flex­i­ble on what they are pre­pared to count as cricket rev­enue all play­ers, from Test cap­tain Steve Smith down, have voiced their soli- dar­ity with the ACA. Sutherland’s lan­guage in his email will drive a wedge deeper be­tween CA and the play­ers.

There are some play­ers with multi-year deals which Sutherland has de­manded they hon­our should a deal not be done.

In a blow to fe­male play­ers, Sutherland said the na­tional women’s squad would be paid “in ad­vance” for the World Cup in July, and would be “un­em­ployed” when it was over.

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