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Australia cricketers set to be unemployed, few offered unpaid contracts

A representative of ACA, Watson expressed his displeasure on James Sutherland not getting involved in the negotiations.

Australia v India Test
The Australian Team is unified against CA in the pay dispute. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The central contracts of the Australia national cricketers will expire on June 30 which will push them into unemployment if Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) do not arrive at a conclusion on the ongoing pay dispute in the next three days. CA has been firm in its stance to scrap the revenue sharing model in place since 1997 while the players want to continue enjoying the old model for they bring in most of CA’s revenue through international games.

5 Players asked to play for free

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In a remarkable twist, in a bid to stop the ‘A’ tour of South Africa from collapsing, CA has offered 5 centrally contracted players selected for the series to go on tour without getting any pay. Which means, Glen Maxwell – who is worth a fortune of money in big T20 leagues around the world – could turn up for his country without getting any monetary benefit out of it. Apart from the all-rounder, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Jackson Bird and Ashton Agar are the other four contracted cricketers. The rest 9 members of the squad – all domestic cricketers – will get paid for their work as the CA has offered them contracts with a slice of share in the revenue.

The five cricketers will be covered for insurance and travel. The logic behind this move is that these players were facing a dilemma whether to press their Test chances for the Ashes by going on this ‘A’ tour or stand unified with the rest of their teammates.

ACA president Greg Dyer hinted that players don’t mind signing temporary contracts provided the CA and ACA are moving towards a solution for the ugly pay dispute.

“I think we’d have to see some progress before that would be a likely outcome, but that’s not impossible,” said Dyer.

“If we can make some progress, if the CEOs can get together and make some progress towards an outcome then tour contracts may well be a good short term resolution. But we’re still so far apart it’s difficult to imagine that’s where we’re going to end.”

Sutherland, through an email, declared that the cricketers will be stopped from getting paid post June 30. He did not rule out short-term solutions which will not affect the cricket. The players are not restricted to use the training facility or medical facilities post-Friday, a move which promises a lot.

Watson disconsolate with CA

Shane Watson – a representative of the ACA alongside Simon Katich and Ed Cowan – was disappointed by the CA. In his view, CA didn’t handle the situation well and even if the problem is sorted, the wounds are too deep.

“Nothing is irreparable, time heals most wounds, but it’s incredibly disappointing from a cricketer’s point of view knowing that Cricket Australia has really changed its dynamic over the last five years,” said Watson.

“It’s become very corporatised — not just a governing body of the game of cricket — with all the board members and how it has actually changed.

“It has moved in a very different way to what it was even with the CEO not being involved in the negotiations. James is a bit of an expert with his previous experiences (in MOU talks) and this time he is not even involved and it bewilders me how that happens.”

Maxwell has expressed his desire to be a part of the Test side and it remains to be seen what the swashbuckling batsman decides on the proposed offer by CA.

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