Melbourne: The long standing pay dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) finally came to an end as an “in-principle agreement” was signed after final round of face-to-face negotiations on Thursday morning.
The deal will pave way for the nation’s professional players to be re-contracted and for this month’s scheduled Test tour to Bangladesh to proceed as planned, reports cricket.com.au.
“We want the focus to be back on cricket. We’ve got a huge summer of cricket to look forward to, including the Ashes for both men and women,” said CA chief executive James Sutherland at the press briefing.
“Both sides have compromised in order to reach agreement. The outcome reflects sensible change in the overall interests of the game. CA looks forward to working with the ACA over the next couple of weeks to finalise the new MOU,” he added
“The executive of the ACA will recommend to Australia’s male and female cricketers to accept a renewed MOU secured under an in-principle heads of agreement between CA and ACA. Players will now consider this recommendation into this agreement and we recommend that it will be supported. We will conduct a player vote in the next 24 hours to follow past precedent, but we expect that to come back positive, said ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson.
“After the 10 month negotiation, CA and ACA have agreed to MoU with the summary of these parts-five year term, one agreement for all male and female players for the first time in Australian cricket, a revenue sharing model ensuring all male and female cricketers are partners in the game of cricket, agenda equity pay model with the biggest pay rise in the history of women sports in Australia.”
“The revenue sharing model in which the players will share 30 percent of agreed revenue consisting of 27.5 percent of forecast revenue streams and a 2.5 percent performance pool. This is estimated to be up to USD 500 million in the next five-year period.”
“Finally, all un-contracted players, on the signing of the full MoU, which will be continued to be negotiated over next four to six weeks, will receive back pay once resolved,” he added.
As a result of this development, the Steve Smith-led side tours of Bangladesh and India, and the Ashes series to be played Down Under will proceed as planned.
Australia’s tour to Bangladesh is scheduled to begin in three weeks i.e. from August 22. Earlier, the players decided to boycott the Australia A tour of South Africa following Cricket Australia’s failure to take any action to resolve a bitter pay dispute between the two governing bodies.
Players, having central contracts and state players without multi-year deals, were left unemployed after the deadline for a new MoU was not brokered by June 30.
ACA had earlier rejected the new pay offer from the game’s governing body, saying the proposal will be a win for cricket administrators but a loss for the game. In March, CA made an offer, proposing that the average pay of Australia’s international women’s players would rise from $A79,000 to $A179,000, while the average remuneration of state cricketers would be more than double to $A52,000.
Under CA’s proposal, only male international players would have had the chance to share in any surplus revenue, while other domestic male players and women at both domestic and international level would have had to settle for fixed amounts which would have not fluctuated according to the game’s income. However, the ACA had pointed out a series of concerns with the proposal, saying that it “disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket”. The major reason behind the ACA ‘s opposition was CA’s proposal to scrap a shared revenue model for player payments, which had been in place for nearly 20 years.