Australia A players call off SA tour

With no progress in the pay dispute between Australian cricketers and Cricket Australia, the Australia A team has followed through with its intention of boycotting the South African tour.

More than 200 Australian cricketers are unemployed due to the impasse.   -  Getty Images

 

The Australian Cricketers' Association said on Thursday that players would boycott this month's Australia A tour of South Africa over a pay dispute.

Read: CA disappointed with Aus A tour boycott

The union said players were not obliged and were unavailable to tour South Africa for the Australia A team without an agreed pay deal or new Memorandum of Understanding, after their existing contracts with Cricket Australia expired on June 30 following months of bitter wrangling.

"It is with great frustration that with no progress towards resolving the current dispute, Australia A players confirm they will not tour South Africa," ACA said in a statement. "This decision is made in support of more than 200 male and female players who are now unemployed."

Sacrifice

The players, selected for the Australia A tour starting on July 12, had been training this week hoping for an end to the impasse before their scheduled departure on Friday. "By making this call, the Australia A players have sacrificed their own ambitions for the collective - an incredibly selfless act that shows their strength and overall commitment to the group," the ACA said.

The pay row also threatens to derail upcoming Australia tours to Bangladesh and India as well as this year's prestige home Ashes series against England. CA and the players' union hit an impasse after the board attempted to scrap a 20-year-old arrangement giving cricketers a fixed share of revenues, in favour of dividing surpluses among elite players and offering a pay rise.

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has urged the parties to extend the old deal for 12 months to allow for more negotiations in a bid to break the damaging standoff.