Cricketers in Australia stand united in their pay dispute with the games national governing body – Cricket Australia. The players, while resolving that no male or female cricketers shall play under the banner of Cricket Australia, have adopted the 14-point resolution. The stance is tough with commitment of zero compromise on their demands.
The proposed series with India later this year is under threat, too.
The players have resolved in support of the game, expressing highest respect for the game and fans. There is a demand for fair amount of remuneration to each player, and a warning too that the cricketers are not obliged to go on an A team tour of South Africa if contracts are not inked, says a cricketnext report.
Here is the list of resolution passed at ACA’s meeting:
1. Respect game and fans
Players have expressed their love for the game and highest respect for the fans. They resolved first and foremost for the great honour of being a professional cricketer in Australia. They expressed their desire to be on the field playing the game they love, interacting with the fans and supporters of cricket and representing their states and countries as soon as possible.
2. Stay United against CA
All cricketers have expressed disappointment at the conduct of CA during the MoU negotiations. They feel that the 20 years of good faith partnership had been disrespected and disregarded by CA. The players noted with great pride that the efforts by CA to divide them has had the opposite effect.
3. Fair share in CA revenue
Players are of the viewpoint that it requires great effort to reach the top level of cricket. If they do, players have a relatively short career at that level. As such it was important for all players, men and women, domestic and international to be fairly remunerated for their efforts.
4. No Contract – No Play
The players have resolved that, unless contractually obliged, no male or female players intend to play for a Cricket Australia (CA) team whilst fellow players remain unemployed due to the absence of an MoU. This is an outright rejection of CA’s attempts to divide and rule. It is a resolution which will be revisited at the next and subsequent ACA Executive meetings, since the players remain hopeful that common sense will prevail and a new MoU can still be agreed on fair terms.
5. No A-Team Tour
All Australian professional cricketers are not obliged to and are unavailable to Tour South Africa as a part of the Australia A team without an agreed MoU. This decision has been made consistent with resolution 4 above that, unless contractually obliged, no player intends to Tour for a Cricket Australia team whilst others are unemployed courtesy of the expired MOU.
This decision not to Tour in the absence of a renewed MoU has been discussed and endorsed by the Australia A squad in solidarity. The Australia A squad wishes to represent Australia, and is willing to give CA another opportunity. They will gather in Brisbane on Monday to prepare for the Tour, in a gesture of the players’ continued good faith and in hope that CA will reciprocate by agreeing an MOU on fair terms as soon as possible.
6. Tours of Bangladesh and India
Players expressed a strong desire to Tour both Bangladesh and India and urged CA to support them by renewing an MoU on fair terms, allowing the Tours to proceed. However, if an MoU is not presented in the meantime, no player is obliged to take part in the tours.
7. The Summer of Cricket
All players expressed a strong desire to participate in the Australian Summer of Cricket and urged CA to support them by renewing an MoU on fair terms so the Summer can proceed.
8. MoU to Rescue Tours
To rescue the Tours and the Summer of Cricket referenced above, if there was no agreed MoU, the ACA will be discussing with the players the assignment to the ACA of an exclusive option to employ or second them.
‘In contract’ players will also participate in the discussion regarding assigning rights to the ACA to allow them to Tour. This means the ACA could offer to facilitate the availability of players on the right terms to assist those games and series that we all wish to see played.
This may extend to the ACA offering the players back to CA on the right terms for the purposes of rescuing the Summer of Cricket. This would be best achieved by an agreed MOU.
This option is available to the ACA and could be exercised absent an agreed MOU. It should be regarded as an option for rescuing tours and the Summer of Cricket absent an agreed MOU which remains the clear preference.
9. Restraint of Trade
Players have resolved to support any out-of-contract players who are restrained from post-employment professional cricket opportunities. This would apply to any refusal to provide an out-of-contract player with a No Objection Certificate (NOC). It would also apply to any threat to lock players out of future employment opportunities if they engage in an ‘exhibition game’ to raise money for their unemployed team-mates.
10. Cricketers’ IP and Brand
The ACA Executive has approved The Cricketers’ Brand to work with players’ agents to commence the process of signing Sponsors and to deal with Broadcasters wanting to use these players’ attributes.
The State players with multi-year State Playing Contracts will continue to honour those agreements, including player Appearances as directed. As CA retains some rights to use out of contract players’ attributes for game promotion and development, the players will be available to do so.
11. Women and Men Cricketer Assistance Plan (WaMCAP)
The ACA Executive approved the making of payments to players who need financial assistance from the WaMCAP fund.
12. Revenue sharing for professional cricketers
The players have affirmed their commitment to all male and female players at both international and domestic level receiving a ‘fair share’ of the revenue they generate for the game. And again, expressed a willingness to make sensible changes to the current model to reach agreement.
13. Mediation the Right Process
The players affirm their view that third party mediation at CEO level remains the right process to resolve the current impasse.
14. Grassroots Cricket Investment
The ACA Executive continued its call for a review into the current under investment in grassroots cricket and for recommendations to be developed for increasing grassroots investment.
The ACA also noted that the current level of underinvestment seemed incompatible with the CA decisions to:
– Almost double the number of CA employees over the last five years;
– Grow CA cash reserves to the current level of approximately $70 million; whilst
– Allowing grassroots investment to stagnate at the level of only approximately 12% of revenues.
The ACA demands are strong, which CA may find hard to accept. However, for the important series there is a consideration which may allow good sense to prevail to save key international events. Otherwise, players look in no mood bow down to any pressure.