The pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association has come to an end with a mutual agreement that ensures players will receive up to 30% of the revenue. The agreement came after face-to-face negotiations between the two parties in Melbourne on Thursday morning.
The new “in-principle” agreement, which was signed between CA chief executive James Sutherland and his ACA counterpart Alistair Nicholson made way for the cricketers to be re-contracted with the board, which comes as a sigh of relief for the fans. After the new MoU, Australia’s proposed tours of Bangladesh, India and the home Ashes series against England will go ahead as planned.
"In announcing this agreement, we are restoring certainty, beginning to repair relationships, especially with the fans," Sutherland was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“We want the focus to be back on cricket. We have got a huge summer of cricket to look forward to, including Ashes cricket for both 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. We know with the ticket sales that there is great anticipation about the Ashes series ahead, including from many advances bookings from the thousands of visitors from UK.
"In the meantime, I'm very pleased to say that the Bangladesh tour is preceding with the pre-tour camp scheduled in Darwin next week, and the team heading off to Bangladesh two weeks later, followed by our limited overs tour of India followed by the summer of cricket here," he said.
The dispute between the two parties took place CA proposed a new revenue-sharing model, in which it directed more funds to the grassroots level. Although the players had offered to sacrifice up to A$ 30 million (US$ 24 million) of their pay to grassroots cricket, CA stood by its stance and chose not to offer the revenue-sharing deal, which left the players disappointed.
However, the parties have now settled for a modified revenue-sharing model that will provide players 30% of agreed revenue, consisting of 27.5% of forecast revenue streams. Earlier, the male players had been sharing in up to 26% of the Australian cricket revenue, which is estimated to be $500 million in the next five years. The players will also be back-paid to July.
Now, nearly $25 million will be transferred to grassroots investment via the ACA-CA grassroots investment fund. Apart from that, $14 million has been kept aside for a professional development program for all state and national players.