New Delhi: Unemployment is hurting the top Australian cricketers due to their revenue sharing dispute with Cricket Australia, prompting them to look for endorsement deals in the lucrative Indian market.
The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), which has all the top cricketers under its wing, has sent its General Manager Tim Cruickshank to speak to potential Indian investors, who would want to rope in Australian players for endorsement deals.
"The Australian players love coming to India. They have a huge fan base in India. The players are sought after in IPL. I have come to India to speak to potential partners in Indian market. I can tell you that the response from Indian investors has been great in the meetings that I have had," Cruickshank said.
The Players' Association in Australia has been entrusted with the duty of managing the 'Intellectual Property Rights' (IPR) of the top players and hence Cruickshank's India visit.
As of now, all the top Australian cricketers are "unemployed" as they have not yet agreed to the terms and conditions set by CA in the 'Memorandum of Understanding' (MoU).
This has already led to the Australia A team pulling out of tri-nation 'A' series involving India and South Africa.
When asked whether the senior team's tour to India would be jeopardised, Cruickshank hoped that both parties (CA and ACA) could reach a common ground by then.
"Let me tell you that players are keen to tour both Bangladesh and India. But till the MoU is not signed on fair terms, they won't be able to tour. Had the India tour been next week, I would have told you that it's in serious jeopardy but since it's in October, we should be hopeful that a common ground of solution will be reached by then," he said.
The current Australian players available for brand endorsement could be a win-win situation for the Indian corporates as a David Warner or Steve Smith, with their fan following, can be roped in at a lower cost than a Virat Kohli or Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Cruickshank agreed that it's not an ideal situation as players want to play but also want a level-playing ground where Cricket Australia treats them as partners.
"Due to some strange tactics from Cricket Australia, the players have been forced into unemployment. All they want is a fair deal. The top cricketers could have agreed to the lucrative deals that CA offered them but they are all together in it. They also want a share for the women cricketers and the first-class cricketers," Cruickshank said.
Former skipper Michael Clarke had recently urged Cricket Australia to continue with the old revenue sharing model for the time being
"I know where Michael is coming from but the old revenue sharing model does not involve the women cricketers," he said.
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