ACA to establish player fund for female and domestic cricketers

Rufina Vignone
Mag 19, 2017

In bridging the gap between the two warring factions of Australian cricket, national coach Darren Lehmann may find himself as an accidental hero in the bitter pay dispute that has threatened to plunge the game into turmoil.

Tensions escalated over the weekend after CA CEO James Sutherland emailed Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Alastair Nicholson notifying him that players would not be paid beyond June 30 if they did not agree to the current offer.

"I'm sure that won't happen", Lehmann said at a press conference, published by the Sydney Morning Herald, ahead of Australia's departure to England for next month's Champions Trophy.

Asked about the developing situation in Australia, the veteran off-spinner said: "I think we could have a problem in this country as well with the new franchise [Twenty20 competition] and all the money from the TV deals". In the meanwhile, Cricket South Africa must take heed of the drama unfolding in Australia and attempt to ensure the same doesn't happen here.

"CA want to change the MOU, want to get away from the revenue sharing model, although the deal being offered to the players is still revenue sharing to a certain extent".

The former left-handed batsman further said he would address the matter once the entire squad for the Champions Trophy had got together.

Cricket Australia (CA) has proposed to increase pay for men and women but end benefits from a revenue-sharing scheme.

Warner said the players were not really shocked by the CA stance.

"I had achieved everything I had aspired to in my cricketing dreams and yet I was being advised by my peers and my elder peers to be ready to, if we have got to strike, we're going to strike".

The dispute centres on CA's wish to ditch the revenue-sharing model that's shaped players' salaries since the first MoU 20 years ago.

It is up to CA to deal with the ACA. You have to do that, you've got to keep it open in communication so we know the direction everyone's going.

Top players like Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc - who collect annual retainers in the vicinity of A$2 million - were reportedly approached by CA with extra cash if they didn't play the lucrative Indian Premier League.

"If it gets to the extreme they might not have a team for the Ashes", Warner, now playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), told the Age newspaper.

"I was there as a player and a delegate and then president", he said.

"It always traditionally stays quite late in the negotiations".

"I'm not going to go too much into that to be perfectly honest. Once we all get together we'll talk about it and move forward".

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