Australia vice-captain David Warner has reiterated that the players are ready to forego this summer’s Ashes series if they are pushed out of contract after June 30-the date of expiry of the MoU between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA).
Warner, who was speaking from London ahead of Australia’s second Champions Trophy clash against Bangladesh, insisted that the ACA is handling the situation quite well and that he has full faith that they would soon come to a mutual agreement.
“I stick firm behind it. If we are unemployed, we have no contracts, we can’t play. So, from my point of view and speaking to the guys, we would love to see something happen between now and July 1, and I am sure that the ACA and the CA will reach an agreement,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Warner as saying.
“We’ve always said from day one that all the support is behind the ACA, 100%. They are doing a great job for us. Obviously, from a players’ point of view, we are pretty vocal and upbeat about it. But as you know, we are going to be unemployed come July 1. So we have to wait and see and play it out from there,” he added.
Warner received a flurry of criticism in the wake of his previous comments that CA “might not have a team for the Ashes.”
He had also said that players are united to reject CA’s proposal, adding that they could also turn to domestic T20 tournaments to make up for their financial losses.
Reflecting on the same, Warner insisted that he has a right to put forth his opinions, adding that he is just pushing for fair share and equality. “It comes with my background and my history with that kind of stuff. So you know, it is water off a duck’s back. I have a verbal stance, to stick up for all our players, and we are always talking about a fair share and equality. And that’s what we are sticking to,” Warner said.
Refusing to back down from his comments regarding the Ashes series, Warner said that the players are committed to letting the ACA act as their collective bargaining agent and are not looking forward to indulge in any direct negotiations with CA. The left-handed opener further revealed that the Champions Trophy squad is also hearing of CA’s tactics via media reports.
“Not really. It is only what we hear in the media and that’s how CA has been driving it the whole way. It has been using the media as a voice and we get that message from there. As you said, we get a couple of emails,” he added.
The 30-year-old, however, insisted that his team is entirely focused on its Champions Trophy campaign despite the long-standing pay dispute between the CA and ACA.
“For us, we galvanise all the time-it doesn’t matter what is going on outside of the game. It is a big thing that we could be unemployed but for us, our job is to play cricket and focus on winning the tournament and not letting our country down in that respect. So as I said, our full mental frame is towards the tournament,” he said.
Under CA’s proposal, only male international players would have a share in any surplus revenue, while other domestic male players and women at both domestic and international level would have to settle for fixed amounts, which would not fluctuate according to the game’s income.
However, the ACA pointed out a series of concerns with the proposal, saying that it “disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket.”
The major reason behind the deadlock is CA’s proposal to scrap a shared revenue model for player payments, which has been in place for nearly 20 years.
Cricket Australia had, in May, threatened that players would not be paid beyond June 30, the date of expiry of their current five-year financial deal, if they don’t accept the governing body’s new proposed offer.
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