The ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association might sooner or later come to a conclusion. However, Australian vice-captain David Warner has underlined the willingness of the nation’s top players to go without employment in order to achieve the retention of the fixed revenue percentage model.
Warner has been opposing the board’s ideology after the CEO James Sutherland threatened that the Australian players would be left unemployed if the player’s association does not agree to the board’s terms.
“We’re prepared as players to give a little bit more in that revenue share [percentage],” he said of the ACA’s proposal to reduce the players share from around 26% to 22.5% with more money to go to grassroots levels. “But that’s what we want. We’re not going to budge from the revenue sharing model, we want equality, and a fair share for domestic and female players. That in a nutshell is what it’s all about.
“We’ve been offered contracts and we’ve knocked them back. That’s because we want to make sure the female players and domestic players are in this revenue share model. In the decades that have gone past, the past players that have been in our situation have stood up for us. I was a domestic player, I was a young kid coming through, we’re doing the same as what they did as well.”
The cricket governing board in Australia has been claiming that the ACA is seeking a share of all revenue in the game for professional players.
“From our point of view I want to play for Australia and so do the other boys,” Warner said. “But if there’s nothing that’s put in place for what we’re trying to achieve here, from both point of views, we’re not going to tour Bangladesh, there might not be an Ashes if we don’t have an MoU.
Warner, who has been an integral part of Australia’s side, wants to keep playing for the national side but does not want the MoU to be signed as Australia play Bangladesh in August.
“We want to keep playing cricket for Australia, that’s our goal. If there’s no cricket in summer, what are we going to do? We’re going to be locked out. Where do we train? They can lock us out from all the different training facilities. It’s going to be disappointing if it comes to that, we want to keep playing for Australia. But if we don’t have the MoU done, it’s going to be hard for us to walk on that plane come Bangladesh.
“From July 1, we’re unemployed. We’ve been threatened with that. We’re hopeful there’s going to be an agreement done — it’s a sticky situation.”
With Warner being the most outspoken cricket towards the board, the Australian skipper Steve Smith has been on a contrasting approach. But the left-handed batsman believes Smith could perhaps be more vocal as the days tick down to the MoU expiry.
“From where I stand and the position I take on this, I try to take as much heat off [Smith] as possible. He does lead us on the field, and rightfully so off the field as well, he does a great job,” Warner said. “In this circumstance I’m willing to go out there into bat for everyone. Yeah sometimes he could probably push a little bit more, but I think he’s doing a great job, as well as the other players like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood as well.”