Australian cricketers asked to hold new contracts

Canberra, Jan 19 (IANS) Australian cricketers have been asked not to sign new Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) contracts until the details of a new player pay deal are settled upon.

Talks between the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) and Cricket Australia (CA) broke down before Christmas, and BBL franchises have desperately been trying to sign players before the new enterprise bargaining agreement is settled, but the players association has asked players to hold out for a better deal, Xinhua news agency reported.

Cricket Australia is hoping to dump the pay model it has used since the 1980s, in which revenue from advertising and TV rights is shared with contracted players; this time around it is offering only test cricket players a slice of the revenue pie.

According to local media reports, the players are keen to remain under the existing revenue sharing agreement, which would mean state players are also paid a percentage of CA’s revenue.

News Corp reported that player managers have also told their clients to stay patient while the new pay deal is being agreed upon, while under the players’ demands, women would also be included in the revenue sharing model.

Cricket Australia is reportedly keen to get a deal done as soon as possible, as it cannot pencil future schedules without players having signed contracts, but is not keen to budge on offering state-level players a slice of the revenue money.

According to a Cricket Australia submission, players have been told to approach the BBL for a separate, lucrative pay packet.

“Combined payments for domestic men playing state and BBL cricket should increase at a sustainable rate,” CA said. “The increase should be driven by BBL payments (as the format’s popularity grows).”

According to both organisations, a deal is likely to be agreed upon by the time the male test team heads to India next month.

–IANS

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