‘Aussie cricketers won’t stay away from IPL’

Cricket Australia
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Australian cricketers will not stay away from Indian Premier League. Former Australia captain Michael Clarke believes that cricketers from Down Under will continue to be part of the richest T20 league in the world. The remark comes soon after the reports that Cricket Australia has offered long-term contracts to some of its key players to stop them from playing in the IPL.

“I don’t think it’s fair for me to comment (on the reported offers) as I haven’t spoken with anyone from Cricket Australia or individual players. But I can guarantee that I was given every opportunity to come and play in the IPL. Cricket Australia was very supportive of the decisions I made,” Clarke has said at a Press conference to announce the tie-up between Michael Clarke Cricket Academy and a newly-opened Aditya School of Sports in India.

“Unfortunately, I had a lot of injuries in my career which restricted my IPL appearances. I played one year with Pune Warriors and enjoyed the experience very much. And now I am back here commentating. IPL is a wonderful tournament.”

Asked if the possible absence of Australian players will harm IPL, Clarke said, “Cricket is bigger than any individual. If Sir Donald Bradman can retire and the game goes on, it doesn’t matter who comes in and who goes out. Cricket is the greatest game in the world. But the David Warners and Steve Smiths will keep coming to IPL. They love it over here.

“I don’t know of one Australian cricketer who has not had a good time in IPL. I don’t think we need to keep talking about that. I am confident you will continue to see Australian cricketers being part of IPL,” adds Clarke.

CA-PLAYERS ROW INTENSIFIES

Meanwhile, tension between CA and Australian players seems to have escalated. CA has threatened its contracted players they will not be paid beyond June 30, 2017, unless they accept the governing body’s proposed overhaul of player remuneration, a report said Saturday.

The escalating tension reached new heights after chief executive James Sutherland told them in a blunt email to accept its offer. It is reported that Sutherland sent the email on Friday to Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) chief Alistair Nicholson who then forwarded it to players around Australia.

The email read: “CA is not contemplating alternative contracting arrangements to pay players beyond 30 June if their contracts have expired. In the absence of the ACA negotiating a new MoU, players with contracts expiring in 2016-17 will not have contracts for 2017-18… if a new pay deal is not struck”.

The ACA had moved on Friday to enter mediation with CA over the pay negotiations, which show no sign of resolution.

In the email Sutherland told Nicholson: “The ACA is fast running out of time to engage with CA’s proposal and optimise the outcome for players. In the coming weeks, CA and states will be making contract offers to players. The terms of these contracts will be consistent with CA’s proposal, and contracts will be conditional on a new MOU being in place.”

Australia’s top cricketers will effectively be free agents from July 1 unless a deal is made. Sutherland has accused the ACA of having “unfairly placed current players in a difficult position”.

Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins Saturday tweeted on social media in response:”Players are staying strong #fairshare” and former Test paceman Mitchell Johnson added:”Players past & present will stay strong #fairshare.”

It was widely reported that Cricket Australia is offering some of its leading players three-years contracts to lure them away from IPL.

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