Australian players urge 'emergency mediation' with Cricket Australia as deadline looms

Australia's recently announced Test tour of Bangladesh starting in August and the Ashes remain in jeopardy.

In the letter than accompanied the contract offers, Cricket Australia's lead negotiator Kevin Roberts confirmed that the board are prepared to "increase the global cricket surpluses that are shared with players, include all domestic players in the sharing arrangements, and increase annual pay rises to male state players with commensurate increases for WNCL and WBBL players to maintain gender pay equity".

CA, which has also now begun offering individual contracts to players, has not ceded to the players' demand to retain a percentage of the game's revenue in its new offer but says it will increase the A$20 million cap on the share of worldwide cricket surplus to include all domestic players. However, the board did not yield on its contentious bid to overhaul the revenue sharing model, which has been at the core of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the past 20 decades.

Prior to the ACA rejecting the latest MOU, CA general manager Kevin Roberts said: "CA has listened to feedback from players and has also invited the ACA to explore the flexibility we are prepared to offer in order to conclude a new MOU".

ACA President Greg Dyer made the call in a statement, saying he has the backing of Australia's leading male and female cricketers, "who are determined to ensure every avenue is explored to avoid the post-June 30 cliff".

"The letter provided to players today from CA does not accurately reflect how far apart the parties remain with a week to go", the ACA said in a statement late Friday. The players have until June 30 to try and reach an agreement or face not being paid.

The ACA said CA's revised offer was "unacceptable" and advised players not to sign up to the new deal.

At the heart of the dispute is a long-standing agreement that gives the players a fixed percentage of the revenue of the game, a deal which CA says prevents them from sufficiently investing in the grassroots. Cricket Australia remains 100 per cent committed to resolving the MOU by 30 June.

The union also took issue with CA sending the contract offers direct to their employees and not via the ACA, and repeated their request for CA to release detailed financial information to enable proper assessment of CA's proposal. "We know they're working incredibly hard for us to get the best outcome for the game and the fairest share for the players as well", he said. "With only seven days until the June 30 deadline, the ACA calls for emergency mediation to be conducted at CEO level".

CA claims it delivered financial records earlier this week.

"CA continues to state that player payments in the upcoming MoU be funded by the revenue already earned by the players from the last MoU".

"CA has only been willing to provide financial "scenarios" and "formulas", which lack the detail and scope required", Dyer wrote.

  • Julie Sanders