Australia players move to take back image rights

Smith added that he and other national team players are keeping their faith on the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) for resolving the payment issues.

Smith admitted that he was unaware that CA were mulling over third-party mediation to break the deadlock that has flared up in the past month. "I am not sure".

Nicholson added: "In the U.S., nearly all of their major sports have set-up models to help sustain the players' income through a mechanism that also supports their association in delivering services and programs that also benefit their colleagues".

"The key thing is the players aren't asking for anything more that they haven't had, and so most Australians can understand that's a fair request and the game's going quite well". They are working really hard to get what the player group wants.

Doubts persist over what CA's next step would be.

Furthermore, commercial partners will lose protection from the MOU, freeing up players to sign individual contracts that could involve promoting other brands. Smith said the new venture had all the players' support.

Establishing "The Cricketers' Brand", created to manage and commercialise player's intellectual property rights, was necessary due to "the uncertainty of all parties regarding IP matters should the players be unemployed post June 30". I think we've got one of the best on our team with Mitchell Starc.

Players union chief Alistair Nicholson will meet with Australia's top players in England this weekend, acknowledging their unity at a time when they could easily accept Cricket Australia's pay offer.

Nicholson, seething at recent threats by CA chief James Sutherland that players would be "locked out" come July 1, also endorsed comments by leading player agent Neil Maxwell, who is also on the ACA board, that overseas leagues would be keen to sign up Australian players in July should a deal not be reached.

"We have a few options to go with, we have got a lot of strong batters in the line-up, and we could go with how they go in the practice matches".

Smith was hopeful that the impasse between the players and the board would be solved in time for the Ashes in November.

The ACA is also bewildered over why CA, guided by steadfast chairman David Peever, has rejected its call for mediation, a move which would at least get the two warring parties talking. I certainly don't think... "It's just about making sure the guys finalise a deal and get the MOU sorted, and then everything will be fine", he said. Certainly nothing from us that we don't want to play, we certainly want to be playing in the Ashes.

According to News Corp, existing promotional material for the upcoming Ashes series will be left untouched, but any player lockout would freeze any fresh advertising involving the players.

"We have had a busy schedule but I'm feeling really good physically and mentally and things are in a good place".

  • Zachary Reyes