Cricket Australia Disappointed With Players’ Decision To Withdraw From ‘A’ Tour
Cricket Australia (CA) has expressed its disappointment over the players’ decision to pull out from Australia A’s upcoming tour of South Africa for two unofficial Tests and a tri-series featuring the hosts and India A. Australia A’s squad which included senior team players Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell – was due to fly out to South Africa on Friday (July 7) but decided to boycott the tour for CA’s failure to come up with the new Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to put an end to the stalled pay talks.
Earlier this month, the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) had released a statement after its executive meeting, stating that the players would not agree to tour unless an MOU “on fair terms” was in place. But with none of the parties- CA and ACA- willing to accept the opposing party’s views, no conclusion has been reached yet now, resulting in the players’ decision to call off the series.
In a statement released shortly after the ACA announced the players would not tour South Africa, CA expressed its disappointment over the whole development. But at the same time, the cricket board reiterated that it would not compel players to represent their country against their will.
“CA has never and would never attempt to compel any player to represent Australia at any level if they were unwilling to do so,” the statement read. “Australia A gives players an opportunity to perform and gain experience at a high level against quality international opposition. CA has today advised Cricket South Africa of the players’ decision.
CA also said players who were named in the Australia A squad and who hold ongoing contracts with their state associations or Big Bash League franchises will continue to have those agreements honoured.
“The Australia A tour was projected to cost CA in the vicinity of $250,000 to stage,” it further read. “All funds that can be recouped as a result of not touring will be allocated by CA to the National Communities Facilities Fund. Australia A squad members with multi-year state and BBL contracts will continue to have these honoured.”
“Cricket Australia regrets that players have made this decision despite progress made in talks between CA and the ACA in meetings over the past week,” the statement read. “These talks included regular communication between CEOs. While a new MOU has not yet been agreed, CA is of the view that these talks should have enabled the tour to proceed as planned.
“CA will continue to work towards a new MOU which is in the interests of both the players and the game and calls upon the ACA to show the flexibility clearly now needed to achieve that outcome,” it added.
Earlier this morning, the ACA released its statement, stating that it was with “great frustration” that the tour had to be cancelled.
“This decision is made in support of more than 200 male and female players who are now unemployed, and is consistent with Sunday’s ACA Executive meeting resolutions. CA refuse to attend mediation or offer any genuine flexibility in the MOU negotiations. And without mediation it’s hard to see how there can be the progress necessary to reach agreement,” the statement read.
The boycott of the South Africa tour will now shift the focus to Australia’s Test tour of Bangladesh which is slated to start in August. The series will be followed by a limited-overs series in India before England visits Australia for the Ashes series. But the way things are going, the upcoming series can also be jeopardised if a new pay deal is not struck in time.
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