‘Players not giving up revenue-sharing’

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The Ashes could be under threat unless Australia’s players reach an agreement with CA

Australia captain Steve Smith says the country’s cricketers will not give up a long-standing revenue-sharing agreement to settle their pay dispute with Cricket Australia (CA).

The governing body wants to end a deal that means players across the country receive a percentage of its income.

The row has meant an Australia A team tour of South Africa being called off.

“We are willing to make important changes to modernise the existing model for the good of the game,” said Smith.

But, in a post on Instagram, he added: “We are determined to keep revenue-sharing for all because we must take care of domestic players in Australia.

“I know from my career that, when I was dropped in 2011, if I didn’t have a strong domestic competition to go back to, I certainly wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in today.”

The previous five-year agreement between CA and the players ended on 30 June, and the dispute has effectively left 230 of the country’s players unemployed.

Talks over a new deal are expected to resume on Monday.

“State players need to be taken care of financially so the domestic competition will always be strong which in turn keeps us strong at the international level,” said Smith.

‘Time to get the deal done’

In March, CA proposed salary increases for men and women as part of a revised memorandum of understanding, meaning players would no longer receive a percentage of the organisation’s revenue.

This was rejected by the Australian Cricketers’ Association, which also turned down a recent revised pay offer.

Australia’s men are due to play a two-Test series in Bangladesh in August, while they are scheduled to host England in the Ashes from 23 November to 8 January, 2018.

The women’s team are under contract until the end of the Women’s World Cup, which is taking place in England.

Smith added: “As women’s cricket gets bigger and bigger in Australia, women players must also be able to share in what they will be earning.

“They must have the same chances and incentives to grow the game as the men have had since revenue sharing started.

“It’s time to get a deal done. It should be and can be an exciting time for the game.”

Analysis – ‘The Ashes? Who knows’

Adam Collins, Australian cricket journalist and broadcaster

“What a mess. There’s no other way to describe the fact the deadline has passed for Australia’s cricketers to pen a pay deal with the board and no agreement is in place.

“The result? Unemployment with immediate effect. The implications? Vast. The Ashes? Who knows. The Ashes is the true marker of disaster. If that tour is cancelled, heads will roll. And rightly so.”

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