Australia’s India, Bangladesh tours; Ashes as per schedule!

Cricket Australia

Australian cricket team, now it is emerging, will take its tours of Bangladesh and India as well as play the Ashes in home as scheduled. Media reports have suggested that a resolution over the pay dispute appears closer than ever.

There is an optimism in the air that Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers’ Association representatives might reach an a agreement over the long-dragging players’ contract and pay dispute. The two parties are closer than they have been ever during the dispute. There is a hope of a deal between the warring factions. An announcement is expected latest by Tuesday.

According to reports, the key issues like revenue share have been thrashed out, numbers have been crunched, and it’s now a matter of coming to agreement on some outstanding terms on Monday. There is supreme optimism that the Bangladesh Test tour next month will go ahead and the Ashes will be saved.

Cricket Australia on Monday has also released its Big Bash League draw in anticipation that the MoU will be finalised.

When the final terms are signed off, it is expected that CA chief James Sutherland and ACA counterpart Alistair Nicholson would combine for a major press conference announcement.

Nine News sports news reader Cameron Williams has tweeted on Monday that he’d been informed by Australia captain Steve Smith that a breakthrough could be announced later on Monday.

Negotiations continued over the weekend, with Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland and Australian Cricketers’ Association head Alistair Nicholson meeting in Melbourne on Sunday, reads a report from The Daily Telegraph.

Further meetings are scheduled for Monday, with the possibility a heads of agreement could be agreed to this week.

It comes as former Australian captain Michael Clarke had warned the fallout from further strike will be widespread. “If we don’t go to Bangladesh, that will affect relationships with Bangladesh, if we don’t go to India, I can’t imagine what that will be like for Cricket Australia. This is much bigger than just the Australian cricket team,” has reported.

Clarke also suggested captain Steve Smith needed to take a more active role in the dispute. “Steve Smith is in a tough situation, he probably feels that ‘I want to leave it to the ACA, that’s their job and I want to concentrate on making sure we are prepared’,” Clarke said. “(But) if the players are going to be involved, like they have been on social media, it needs to be led by Steve Smith.”

Sutherland has last week proposed an intense period of negotiations, with any outstanding issues to be sent to arbitration. Under the CA proposal the players would be re-contracted while the dispute was settled, allowing the Bangladesh and Indian tours to go ahead, as well as the much–anticipated Ashes series commencing in November.

However, given the angst and distrust that has plagued this ugly dispute from the start, this is a war that won’t be over until it’s over, and both sides remain wary of a last minute spanner being thrown into the works.