By Rick212 – http://www.flickr.com/photos/icc-cricket/324545382/, CC BY 2.0, Link
As the bitter pay dispute involving the Australian test sides and their federation continues to rumble on, Cricket Australia (CA) has insisted that it will look to independent arbitration sooner rather than later if the players continue to refuse to reach an agreement. For months there has been a blockage in talks as the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has refused to agree to a dismantling of a fixed-revenue-sharing payment system to players that is currently the norm.
James Sutherland, the Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, has said that he hopes there will be a resolution within days but that it would have to be taken to an independent umpire if no agreement can be reached. He said “We believe now is the time for the game to get on, to get played, preparation for tours and the season ahead to happen. We encourage the ACA and the players to take up that challenge and hopefully arbitration is not required.”
For arbitration to take place both sides must agree that this is the correct course of action, so even this attempt to break the negotiations stalemate might be fraught with difficulties. If arbitration does take place Cricket Australia have stated that they would offer contracts to players on a short-term basis until the finer details of the new agreements are put together.
Tours of Sub-Continent In Danger
With 230 male and female cricketers out of contract in Australia since July 1 2017, without pay, it is a dangerous time for cricket in the country. Around 70 players had contracts that extended beyond that point and have continued to be paid, but on the whole the two-Test series in Bangladesh, the Test series in India and the ever-popular Ashes series against England that begins in November this year, are all in danger of being scrapped if an agreement cannot be found between the warring factions. Already there has been a withdrawal of Australia A touring South Africa due to the pay dispute.
A Benefit to Grassroots Cricket?
One of the reasons Cricket Australia wants to shake up the pay structure, it says, is to enhance the flow of money to grassroots cricket in the country. It is widely accepted on both sides of the pay divide that the sport needs greater investment in order to compete against the wealthier sports in the country, ensuring that Junior cricket can grow and flourish. The ACA have put forward a peace plan that includes $30m to flow into the community level of cricket, but now the disagreement is over the finer details of the plan.
Throughout the disagreement and standoff over pay the international teams have continued to show great respect to the sport, offering certain concessions in order to get back out on the field and play. The men’s team has continued to train in Darwin, preparing for the upcoming tours that are in danger of being cancelled, and all players have shown their love and passion for the jersey in a range of social media posts and statements.
Content Written By Sophie Williams