Howzat? Ashes in doubt over pay dispute

Published: 16 May 2017

David Warner says Aussie players may opt for lucrative contracts elsewhere

Aussie cricketers threaten to take their bat and ball and leave home

David Warner says Aussie players may opt for lucrative contracts elsewhere
Image © 2015 Anthony Devlin/PA Wire via AAP

David Warner has got on the front foot over the players' pay dispute with Cricket Australia, declaring that this summer's Ashes series is in jeopardy if their demands aren't met.

Pay talks between CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) have stalled following months of proposals and posturing, with the June 30 deadline fast approaching.

Warner was blunt in his views after CA chief executive James Sutherland said Australia's top cricketers might find themselves unemployed if the ACA refused to budge from its position of wanting to retain the revenue-sharing model.

Players want to keep the fixed percentage which they have earned for the past 20 years. CA wants to shake things up, arguing it will benefit grass-roots cricket plus male and female cricketers. CA and the ACA both insist they're willing to negotiate; there have been a lot of claims and counter-claims but little meaningful dialogue.

"If it gets to the extreme, they might not have a team for the Ashes," the Australian vice-captain told Fairfax.

"I really hope they can come to an agreement... we don't really want to see this panning out like that where we don't have a team, we don't have cricket in the Australian summer. It is up to CA to deal with the ACA. It's obviously in their hands."

Warner, who's in India preparing to captain his Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League elimination final, added that Australia's top players could turn to Twenty20 tournaments overseas if CA cut them loose.

"If we don't have contracts we are going to have to find some cricket to play somewhere else... otherwise we don't get paid," Warner said.

"A few boys might go over to play the Caribbean Premier League and I think there could be some of the England Twenty20s on as well."

ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson wants to start independent mediation in an effort to kickstart the stalled discussions, but Warner believes there won't be room to move over their revenue-sharing stance.

"We won't buckle at all, we are standing together and very strong," Warner said.

"We want a fair share and the revenue-sharing model is what we want, so we are going to stick together until we get that."

The lucrative T20 offers that would exist for Australia's top players should they not pen new central deals mean their bargaining power is stronger than ever and former England captain Michael Vaughan predicts similar situations could soon arise with other boards.

"It's great for England to see Australia falling out and fighting with each other but in terms of the game as a whole it's not a great story," he said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Tuffers and Vaughan Show.

"I've never seen it to this level. It's sad for the game when you're hearing this but I don't think it will be the last case of players getting together as groups. There's so much money coming through TV deals, I think players will say 'we fancy a piece of that'.

"International boards have got to put their hands in their pockets to save international cricket. In our day international cricket was the sole money-maker for the game but the Twenty20 leagues are catching up."

Tonight, The Project team chats to Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist about the stand-off.

with AAP
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