Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland’s straight talking E-mail has attracted a lashing after the players responded in a much stronger manner, hinting a potential boycott of the Ashes. The explosive email sent by Cricket Australia told players to accept the proposed overhaul of player remuneration or the payments shall not be made after June 30.
The e-mail from James Sutherland was a reaction to the unproductive negotiations process on Thursday. The discussion between the Australia Cricketer’s Association and CA re-started this week after the players rejected a new payment model last month.
The proposed model suggested removal of Sheffield Shield from the category of set-percentage remuneration for the first time since it was introduced in 1997. The players union has backed the players, accusing Cricket Australia of “incoherence and aggression” to its players.
The dispute rose to a new level after the email. Some Australia’s biggest names came out in protest on social media.
Mitchell Starc was quick to use the Ashes card and let the CA understand the importance of resolving the issue before this summer.
— Mitch Starc (@mstarc56) May 13, 2017
England star Kevin Pietersen, who actively plays in Australia through his participation in the Big Bash League, tweeted in his typical fashion calling out the possible outcome of Cricket Australia’s adamant behaviour.
— KP (@KP24) May 13, 2017
Other former and current cricketers also jumped in support. Lisa Stalekar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Johnson and Trent Copeland were some of the names who put forward their opinion.
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) May 13, 2017
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) May 13, 2017
— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) May 13, 2017
— Trent Copeland (@copes9) May 13, 2017
“Clearly, we are disappointed that CA are threatening the players. It’s also a window into the nature of CA’s behaviour in these negotiations so far. There is incoherence and aggression in what we have experienced at the negotiating table from CA,” said Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson.
“This has further been demonstrated this week with some top players being offered multi-years deals one day, only to now be threatened the next.
“However, despite these threats, the players affirm their offer to participate in independent mediation.”
Nicholson also claims CA was determined to “drive a wedge” between the players.
“Quite simply, one side entered these negotiations in good faith with an intent to provide a win-win result, and the other is trying to remove player unity and drive a wedge in Australian cricket,” he said.
“Further lighting the fuse on this dispute on the eve of the Ashes and during discussions with potential broadcasters and sponsors is quite baffling. The point lost on CA is that the players will not respond to threats, whilst broadcasters and sponsors need certainty.
“That’s why we state again, for the good of the game, that it is time to sit down in mediation rather than make unnecessary threats and create such uncertainty.”
The ACA hopes that mediation process will help the matter to reach a conclusion. “And so here we are, seven weeks from the end of the current MOU [memorandum of understanding] and we have been forced to an unhappy conclusion: that for all the posturing Cricket Australia do not want to deal on any terms except their own. And we are all left wondering whether 30 June is CA’s real deadline,” wrote ACA president Greg Dyer.
“And so here we are, seven weeks from the end of the current MOU [memorandum of understanding] and we have been forced to an unhappy conclusion: that for all the posturing Cricket Australia do not want to deal on any terms except their own. And we are all left wondering whether 30 June is CA’s real deadline,” wrote ACA president Greg Dyer.
“We are hopeful without being confident that a mediation process will be able to break through where the negotiation has not,” the letter reads, before adding that the “challenge” will be dealing with “more of the same”: an “irrational” response from CA.
Australia is expected to take part in the next month’s Champions Trophy in England as they have to follows the current Memorandum of Understanding with the CA. The ACA also stated that the upcoming World Cup in July will also take place without any protest as “sign of good faith”.
However, the first sign of boycott may be visible in June and August when the Australia A is supposed to tour South Africa. The squad is yet to be announced and the players may take a firm stand against participation if the pay debate remains unsolved.
“We take this timing seriously. The 2017 women’s World Cup will be mid-tournament on June 30. As a sign of good faith, we are going to recommend that the selected squad members sign a tournament contract to allow them to compete and excel at this event. But this should not be seen as a lack of resolving by the female players, who want to share, for the first time, in the 20-year revenue share model,” Dyer wrote.