Cricket is in turmoil after the deadline for a new pay deal between Cricket Australia and its players lapsed, leaving 230 officially unemployed.The players and the sport’s governing body have been at odds over the new pay deal for months, with the 5pm deadline for a new Memorandum of Understanding to be signed now passed.The brinkmanship building between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) for months finally ignited on Friday, when it was confirmed 230 players would become unemployed the following day.
“This may place significant financial and emotional strain on them [players] and their families,” CA noted in a statement. “It is unfortunate that the ACA’s hardline and inflexible position has not been conducive to delivering any positive outcomes or certainty for players.”“Reasonable young men and women have been set upon by their employer with tactics not seen before in Australian sport,” Dyer said. “It’s quite incredible. It’s been a case of divide and rule from the start and when that failed the threats started and haven’t stopped.”The ACA noted in a statement the game is in the “worst state of uncertainty since the days of World Series Cricket”.In a statement CA said all efforts to take negotiations forward in recent months had been “rebuffed” by the ACA, including last week’s concession to include all players in a revised profit-sharing model.“CA has been disappointed by the ACA’s unwillingness to consider the sensible and necessary change CA has proposed to the fixed share of revenue player payments model,” the statement said.“In addition to rejecting any change to the existing model, the ACA rejected out of hand and without discussion the very positive remuneration and benefits proposal made by CA in March.CA has paid the women’s World Cup squad in advance for the entire tournament, so the most pressing series at risk is next month’s Australia A trip to South Africa. Players were set to assemble in Brisbane for training on Monday but a tour boycott is now on the cards.“It’s [pay talks] never got to this point before in the past. It’s going to leave a bit of a bitter taste,” star paceman Josh Hazlewood said in a video released by the ACA on Friday. “We are obviously willing to do what we need to.”The right-armer also clipped CA officials for attempting to sign him and other stars on individual contracts earlier this year.“It was a bit of a shock. Just the way it came about, they said they weren’t going to offer contracts until the MoU had been finalised,” he said. “That was a bit disappointing.”This summer’s Ashes will be at threat if the situation is not advanced before November. CA has warned players they risk six-month suspensions if they take part in unsanctioned exhibition games.
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