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Australia’s vice-captain David Warner has chosen to stand his ground in relation to the ongoing pay dispute between the Australia Cricket Association and Cricket Australia. The tenseness about the approaching June 30th deadline which would see the current annual contract expire is palpable but the players look united and aren’t interested in taking their step back.
Warner, who earlier indicated the possibility of the Ashes boycott, has now revealed that the country’s top names are ready to go without employment in order to make Cricket Australia agree with the retention of the fixed revenue percentage model.
“We’re prepared as players to give a little bit more in that revenue share [percentage],” he said of the ACA’s proposal to reduce the players share from around 26% to 22.5% with more money to go to grassroots levels.
“But that’s what we want. We’re not going to budge from the revenue sharing model, we want equality and a fair share for domestic and female players. That, in a nutshell, is what it’s all about.
The talks (and discontentment) has been ongoing since the last few months and both CA and the ACA have made very little progress towards making a compromise on the next deal. Warner told Channel Nine that the players were committed to ensuring all cricketers were assured of equal pay.
“We’ve been offered contracts and we’ve knocked them back. That’s because we want to make sure the female players and domestic players are in this revenue share model. In the decades that have gone past, the past players that have been in our situation have stood up for us. I was a domestic player, I was a young kid coming through, we’re doing the same as what they did as well.”
The lengthy dispute has also made Warner indicate no participation in the upcoming tour of Bangladesh set to be hosted in August. CA has already announced the squad but the vice – captain states that the chances are very slim that the players would agree to board the flight.
“From our point of view I want to play for Australia and so do the other boys,” Warner said. “But if there’s nothing that’s put in place for what we’re trying to achieve here, from both point of views, we’re not going to tour Bangladesh, there might not be an Ashes if we don’t have a MoU.
“We want to keep playing cricket for Australia, that’s our goal. If there’s no cricket in summer, what are we going to do? We’re going to be locked out. Where do we train? They can lock us out from all the different training facilities. It’s going to be disappointing if it comes to that, we want to keep playing for Australia. But if we don’t have the MoU done, it’s going to be hard for us to walk on that plane to Bangladesh.
“From July 1, we’re unemployed. We’ve been threatened with that. We’re hopeful there’s going to be an agreement done — it’s a sticky situation.”
Australia skipper Steve Smith has not been as outspoken as Warner on this issue. But, he states that he doesn’t mind being more involved than his skipper Smith in helping the issue resolved.
“From where I stand and the position I take on this, I try to take as much heat off [Smith] as possible. He does lead us on the field, and rightfully so off the field as well, he does a great job,” Warner said. “In these circumstances, I’m willing to go out there into bat for everyone. Yeah sometimes he could probably push a little bit more, but I think he’s doing a great job, as well as the other players like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood as well.”