Cricket Australia (CA) has warned the Australian players of a ban from this summer's Ashes series should they take part in any kind of "disapproved cricket”. The move comes as an extension of the ongoing pay dispute between the Australian Board and the Australian Cricketers Association.
The warning to all players, whether they are in or out of contract after the MOU expiry, was issued by CA's team performance manager Pat Howard, on Wednesday night, via state associations and also sent to the ACA, though it was not directly conveyed to the Australian women's team, as they are currently taking part in the World Cup in England.
However, Howard wrote in his email, reported by ESPNcricinfo, and reiterated to them the consequences of participating in non-authorized leagues.
"Players (including uncontracted players) cannot play in ICC approved cricket (e.g. domestic T20 competitions operated by overseas cricket boards) without approval from Cricket Australia," Howard wrote. "Players who participate in disapproved cricket (e.g. exhibition matches) are not permitted to participate in ICC approved cricket for a minimum of six months thereafter."
A potential ban for the Australian players, including skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner, would now imply that they could miss the upcoming Ashes series which starts in November. Howard also clarified that the players would not be paid until an agreement is reached between the two parties.
"If your contract expires on 30 June, you will not be an employee of CA, a State Association or a W/BBL Team from 1 July," Howard wrote. "This means that you are not required to play, train, perform player appearances or media commitments, and you will not be paid a retainer until such time as a MOU is agreed and a player contract is agreed with you in writing.
"If a MOU is agreed on or by 14 July, your playing contract would only commence from the date the MOU is agreed. CA does not intend that retainers would be back paid to cover any elapsed period between your current contract expiring and the execution of a new contract when a new MoU is agreed.”
The Australian team boasts some of the most marketable players in the world with the likes Warner in their ranks. However, the opener and his colleagues will henceforth have to be a lot more careful in choosing his endorsements, as Howard’s Mail stated.
"All players will be provided with a list of protected sponsors for 2017/18," Howard wrote. "Any player entering into unapproved endorsements during any uncontracted period puts at risk future endorsement arrangements with CA, State and W/BBL partners and puts you at risk of not being able to enter into a contract for the upcoming season with CA, the State or W/BBL Team."
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