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No Last Minute Deal With Players, Says Cricket Australia

Reuters |June 30, 2017, 1:19 PM IST
No Last Minute Deal With Players, Says Cricket Australia

The Australian cricket board confirmed on Friday there would be no eleventh hour breakthrough in a bitter pay dispute with the players' union, leaving more than 200 leading cricketers uncontracted and the fate of future tournaments in limbo.

Cricket Australia said the union had refused to negotiate, leaving no chance for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to be struck before the midnight deadline on Friday.

"Cricket Australia (CA) today acknowledged that a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will not be agreed before 1 July and repeated its call for the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) to come to the negotiating table and show genuine flexibility in the best interests of the players and the game," the board said in a statement.

Also Read: Australia Pay Dispute Set to Miss July 1 Deadline

"Over the past months, CA has repeatedly sought to engage with the ACA in a genuine dialogue and to commence a proper negotiation process.

"It is regrettable that these efforts have been rebuffed, resulting in the current situation which CA recognises is not in the interests of either the players or the game."

The ACA has blamed CA's insistence on altering a 20-year-old revenue-share model for the breakdown in talks and has refused to deal with the board's lead negotiator.

The ACA called on CA CEO James Sutherland to come to the negotiating table this week but the long-serving executive has kept silent since he emailed players in May, informing them they would be "unemployed" if they failed to agree to a new MoU by the June 30 deadline.

CA improved its offer to players last week, promising more cricketers a share in profits, but the union, which is refusing to budge from its demand for a share of overall revenues, quickly rejected it.

CA has said the revenue-share model is unfit for modern times and is starving funding of grass-roots cricket, while players say it has underpinned the game's growth and prosperity over the past 20 years.

About 230 players would be uncontracted by Saturday but around 70 would still be tethered to state contracts, local media have reported, and would be expected to train and play.

The lockout could potentially scupper next month's Australia A tour to South Africa, which includes a number of prominent test players, including batsmen Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell.

An ACA spokesman said on Friday that players would meet on Sunday to decide the road ahead, including whether they might boycott the tour of South Africa which starts with a four-day match on July 12.

Further tournaments, including a two-test tour of Bangladesh, and a one-day international series in India, also remain in doubt.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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