Mitchell Starc has reportedly said that Australian team will continue to support the Australian Cricketers’ Association to represent the players involved in negotiations with Cricket Australia. The team remain firm on their position for current MoU standoff.
The ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson briefed the Australian team regarding the current situation on MoU in Birmingham on Sunday, before their warm-up match against Pakistan. The current MoU will run out by the end of June, which means Champions Trophy will be the last tournament they’ll play. Cricket Australia is refusing the ACA’s request to mediate independently.
Instead, many senior players including Mitchell Starc, captain Steve Smith and David Warner had received direct emails for the second time by CA High-Performance General Manager Pat Howard. The mail was an attempt to deal directly with the players.
But Starc said after the meeting with Nicholson, the players still choose to support the ACA. “Our stance hasn’t changed,” Starc said. “Our full support is still behind the ACA to get the outcome that the players are after, it’s all about getting a fair share, we’re not asking for more.
“The men and the women are on the same page, we’re sticking strong together and that was pretty much the conversation we had today.”
Starc suggested that the efforts being made by Howard to deal directly with the players won’t be successful before the deadline, which is June 30. “They’ve got four weeks to go on the MoU,” he said. “The players are leaving it all to the ACA from our side of things and it’s up to Cricket Australia to sort that out with the ACA at the moment.”
Starc and his team-mates are now primarily focusing on their Champions Trophy campaign, as they face New Zealand at Edgbaston on Friday. Australia won their first warm-up match against Sri Lanka at The Oval and the second warm-up tie against Pakistan was abandoned due to rain.
Starc did not play the first warm-up game against Sri Lanka as he was suffering from a stress fracture in his right foot. “It has all been in the nets for me in the last few weeks,” he said. “I’ve been over here for a week in the nets, being in Brisbane in the lead up to getting over to England, so coming off the foot injury I’m just looking forward to playing a game of cricket out in the middle again.
“There’s only so much you can get out of nets sessions and centre-wicket sessions. It’s all about match fitness for me and getting some time in the legs.
“I guess I know my role pretty comfortably in this set-up. It’s about bowling with the new ball, trying to swing it – more than likely bowling at the death – and then a few overs in the middle, so just getting out there and performing my role again. Obviously it’s a great chance to do that in a warm-up game, where there’s a little bit less pressure. We still want to win these warm-up games, but come Friday it’s when we hit crunch time.”, Starc concluded.