Players reject Cricket Australia's pay offer as dispute continues

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The long-standing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and its players continue as the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has rejected the new pay offer from the game's governing body, saying the proposal will be a win for cricket administrators but a loss for the game.

The major reason behind the ACA's opposition is CA's proposal to scrap a shared revenue model for player payments, which has been in place for nearly 20 years.

Under CA's proposal, only male international players would have the chance to share in any surplus revenue, while other domestic male players and women at both domestic and international level would have to settle for fixed amounts which would not fluctuate according to the game's income.

However, the ACA now pointed out a series of concerns with CA's latest proposal, saying that it "disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket".

The player's union added that the proposal would also create inequality within playing groups, with some benefiting from revenue share while others not.

The ACA, however, said that although the proposal denies female cricketers the opportunity to share in the game's revenues, the CA's response for gender equity must be acknowledged.

"The ACA also expresses frustration that what should be a relatively simple and good faith negotiation has not proceeded in this way," the ESPNcricinfo quoted the ACA as saying.

"The fact that CA has, despite various attempts to do so, produced no logical reason to break the successful partnership model and longstanding relationship with players, leaves the players unclear as to CA's objectives," the ACA added.

The ACA has instead proposed what it describes a `modernised` fixed revenue model, which would give CA a 55 percent share for running the game and 22.5 percent each for players and grassroots cricket.

The deadline for a resolution to the ongoing negotiations is June 30, when current five-year player contracts expire.

And CA chief executive James Sutherland said that though he is disappointed with the ACA's rejection, he remains confident that a deal would be done before the deadline.

"They appear to have spent nearly six weeks talking with everyone but the organisation that can provide them with the right information, and with whom they need to conclude an agreement on behalf of their members. They will find, when they sit down with us and understand the detail, that this really is a ground-breaking offer and a fair deal for all players," Sutherland said in a statement.

Defending the proposal, Sutherland said that the resolution would guarantee higher payments for player at a time of uncertainty.

"In particular, it offers higher guaranteed payments at a time of uncertainty, while continuing to provide a share of cricket's financial surpluses to players at the pinnacle of the game. It also allows CA to address the disparity between pay for men and women and the urgent need to invest more in the grassroots of the game, particularly junior cricket. We make no apology for investing in priorities that will secure cricket's sustainable future," Sutherland said.

The Cricket Australia CEO further insisted that he completely understand the players' commitment to the existing revenue model, but added that their mindset need to be changed to ensure the greater financial certainty for all players.

"We understand their commitment to the existing model, but the fact is that the world has changed, and it needs to be updated to take that into account. It has to include women, it has to support our juniors and community cricket clubs, and it has to provide greater financial certainty for all players, at every level," he pointed out.

In December last year, CA had postponed pay talks with the ACA, saying the on-going negotiations can distract the players at this busy time of the season, referring to the Boxing Day Test and the early rounds of the Big Bash League (BBL).(ANI)
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