Pay dispute: Cricketers frustrated by lack of financial detail


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The pay dispute between Australia’s top cricketers and their governing body remains far from over, with players increasingly frustrated by the lack of detail in the Cricket Australia submission.

It’s understood the Australian Cricketers Association has sought outside help in assessing future financial returns, including from a new broadcast rights deal from 2018 and the locally hosted WorldTwenty20 in 2020, as it prepares to respond to CA’s submission from March.

Players say their response has been hampered by the lack of detail in the 28-page document in which CA outlines how it wants players to share in $419 million of payments over the next five years. This plan has the top women players earning more than $200,000 a year.

Former ACA chief Tim May has again bought into the argument, detailing in a column on Cricinfo why the set percentage model, introduced in 1997, should remain.

May also argues that “CA’s position threatens to set back by decades the relationship between players and administrators” should it continue to insist domestic cricketers are no longer included in the model.

However, it’s understood CA does not believe ongoing tensions will divide the two parties, arguing they are in agreement over many things and their partnership is more than just about pay.

May’s comments were endorsed by Australian captain Steve Smith and Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning on social media, highlighting how unified the players are in their bid to retain the status quo.

CA’s formal submission for a new memorandum of understanding for men and, for the first time, women, has CA-contracted male (up to $16 million) and female players (up to $4 million) sharing in a percentage of revenue. But CA argues that it’s no longer feasible for Sheffield Shield cricketers to share in these spoils, although they will continue to be paid well.

It’s understood players have yet to discuss strike action, in part because if a new deal is not signed by June 30, and an extension not agreed upon by both parties, they will be off contract anyway.

Players, keen for a new deal to be done by June’s Champions Trophy in England, could go on series-by-series contracts should a deal not be brokered by the new financial year. The first series impacted would be the women’s World Cup in July and an Australia A tour of South Africa.

Should there be no resolution by June 30, it’s likely to impact on CA’s promotional plans ahead of an Ashes summer.

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