Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has called upon Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association to keep the current MoU in place for the next 12 months. He also wants them to allow the players to get back to playing cricket. Stating that the women’s world cup is on, Clarke commented that cricketers should be allowed to do what they do best.
Speaking to Channel Nine, Clarke said, “I think what needs to happen is keep the current MoU for the next 12 months, allow the players to get back to what we do best, train, prepare, get some important cricket in.”
“The women are playing a World Cup now, massive tournament. The Aussie [men] have got Bangladesh tour, India tour and then the Ashes. Allow the players to concentrate wholly and solely on that. The ACA and CA, please go behind closed doors and do this in private.”
“The two MoUs I was around in got extended [2011 to 2012], weren’t done by June 30, they got extended so I don’t see any difference here. Keep the same MoU for 12 months to allow negotiations to continue. My main concern is players want to play for their country, so let’s allow them to play while this stuff is getting sorted out in the background,” he added.
Clarke also said, “I don’t want the Australian players to be underprepared because they’ve been focused on something else,” Clarke said. “So give them 12 months let the players concentrate on the cricket. I don’t want to see any cricket missed because I know how important preparation is as a player. We lost to South Africa in Australia, we got knocked out of the Champions Trophy, we lost to India in India. As a playing group, we need to make sure we’re 100% focused on our preparation because the cricket we’ve got coming up is tough.”
Speaking about the future of cricket in Austalia, Clarke said, “The international players, men and women, are the face of our game, they need to be looked after,” he said. “Young girls and boys grow up, watching their idols on television and that’s why they want to play for Australia, so the players definitely need to be looked after. But in the same breath, I’ve always believed it’s important that our game continues to go [up]. Every boy and girl in this country has the opportunity to play what I think is the best game in the world.”
“If they’re our two greatest priorities, then to me this will sort itself out – there will be a compromise. If there are other priorities in front of those two things, that makes me nervous. It’s important both parties remember … you are going to have to work together very closely. I think both parties need to keep that in the front of their minds.”, he concluded.