Cricket Australia has announced an agreement has been reached in principle with the Australian Cricketers’ Association to solve a pay dispute which threatened this winter’s Ashes series.
Australia’s leading players were left out of contract last month due to a dispute, which ended up in a stand-off after the ACA rejected a proposed payment restructure in the professional game from CA.
However CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a press conference on Thursday morning that the upcoming tour of Bangladesh would go ahead as planned, while this winter’s Ashes series would also continue after months of negotiations came to an end.
The ACA, led by key players such as vice-captain David Warner, had initially been reluctant to accept a deal from CA which centred around replacing the existing revenue-sharing model with new contracts as part of a wider restructure of remuneration throughout cricket.
They were offered an increased amount of surpluses to include men’s and women’s domestic players, as well as international players, but described the deal as unacceptable, which resulted in their contracts coming to an end at the start of July.
Upon announcing the agreement, Sutherland said: “I am very pleased to announce that Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association have arrived at an in-principle agreement as a basis for the next MOU (memorandum of understanding).
“The key issues that underpin the MOU have been the subject of intensive discussion and negotiation.
“The heads of agreement will restore much needed certainty to the game of cricket. It will allow all players state and international, to be contracted immediately and also allow the all-important tour of Bangladesh to go ahead as planned.”
He added: “We have a huge summer of cricket to look forward to, including of course Ashes cricket for our men and women.
“I’m very confident that by the time the first ball is bowled this summer, all of this will be well and truly behind us.”
While the new deal has not yet been signed off, chief executive of the ACA Alistair Nicholson suggested there will be no further problems in finalising the contract.
“Players will now consider this recommendation into this agreement, and we recommend that it be supported,” he said.
“We will conduct a player vote in the next 24 hours but expect it to come back positive.”
He added: “The resolve is very strong in the playing group. While players are now keen to get into camp and play for Australia, the partnership and revenue share model was important to them so resolve was very strong.
“I think it’s an important thing for the game and I do believe players have said they want to maintain a partnership and revenue share. It’s a good agreement to go forward.”