Contrary to media reports on Monday that said there is a deal in place between Cricket Australia (CA) and the players union Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), the two parties have claimed that it is premature to jump to conclusions even though intense negotiations are underway to find the solution to the impasse. The local media reports had said that the agreement would be reached in time to allow the upcoming series against Bangladesh, India and England.
Representatives from both CA and the ACA were locked in discussions in Melbourne over the weekend to find an amicable approach over the pay dispute between the two bodies before signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The talks lasted until past midnight on Sunday.
News Corp Australia had reported on Monday evening that agreement had been reached on key points of difference that have been the reason for debate in the past nine months and the country’s players officially unemployed when their contract expired on June 30. However, there were no hints of formal announcement in this regard with talks slated to continue.
“Good progress is being made with the ACA but we will not comment on details of the negotiation, nor will we enter into any media speculation on the negotiation,” a CA spokesperson was reported to have said on Sunday night.
The report on News Corp Australia further stated that agreement had been struck on revenue sharing model that would also decide how much the players would be paid. It also claimed an agreement had been reached that would see the players be remunerated for back pay. But neither CA or ACA officially confirmed the report with both locked in intense discussions on find a fruitful resolution to the pay dispute.
This comes just days after CA chief executive James Sutherland’s hard line that a strict deadline needs to be imposed on the talks to try to find a quicker resolution. He suggested arbitration in case there was no headway in reaching consensus. In case the impasse does come to that, the 230 men and women who are currently without a contract to be re-signed on short term contracts and allow them to return to the playing field. With that, upcoming tours such as two-Test tour to Bangladesh scheduled for August – would go ahead as planned. The Aussies are then expected to play an ODI series in India in October followed by a five-Test Ashes battle that begins at the Gabba on November 23.