The Australian Cricketers’ Association executive meets on Sunday to decide whether players will boycott this month’s Australia A tour to South Africa after a failure to strike a new pay deal with Cricket Australia.
CA and the players’ union both confirmed they had failed to reach an agreement on a new Memorandum of Understanding before Friday’s deadline, leaving players unemployed and threatening fixtures including this year’s Ashes series.
The ACA likened the rancorous split in Australian cricket as the worst since the tempestuous days of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket revolution of the 1970s.
Leading fast bowler Josh Hazlewood said the breakdown in pay negotiations has left a bitter taste with the players, adding “we are, obviously, willing to do what we need to.”
The players’ union said it will meet in Sydney on Sunday to discuss a more detailed response to the contract standoff.
Among the issues that will be canvassed will be the availability of players for the Australia A tour to South Africa scheduled to begin on July 8, the ACA said and the employment rights for the more than 200 players now out of contract and unemployed as of Saturday.
ACA Chief Executive Alistair Nicholson said the union had planned for the possibility that no deal would be reached and had put in place a number of measures to deal with the associated contingencies.
Among them have been the establishment of a players’ support fund to lend direct financial assistance to those out-of-contract men and women.—APP