SYDNEY: Australian cricket’s long and bitter pay dispute is over, paving the way for the Test tour of Bangladesh to proceed later this month.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland and the Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO Alistair Nicholson announced the new agreement at a joint press conference in Melbourne on Thursday afternoon. The agreement ends a 10-month negotiation process that became bitter and acrimonious as Cricket Australia sought to dramatically alter the existing pay model by which players shared in the game’s revenue.
Australia’s international cricketers and many domestic players have been unemployed since July 1, after CA and the ACA failed to agree on a new Memorandum of Understanding before the expiration of the existing deal. However, those players who were out of contract will be provided with back-pay when the full MoU is completed.
The agreement means Australia can honour their upcoming international commitments, including the two-Test tour of Bangladesh, a limited-overs trip to India, and the home Ashes to follow this summer. Sutherland said it was “a great shame” that Australia A’s scheduled tour of South Africa did not proceed last month, but he was pleased that no other elite cricket series had been affected.
Sutherland said the deal would allow all state and international cricketers to be contracted immediately, and would mean an increase in pay that ensures Australia’s international players will be the highest-paid of all team sports in the country. The agreement also includes what Nicholson described as “the biggest pay-rise in the history of women’s sport in Australia”.
“We also wanted to introduce a gender equity pay model for women’s cricketers, so that they can also pursue a career in cricket. The ACA and Cricket Australia are delighted to be genuine market leaders in Australian sport in this regard.
“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.”
Details of the new agreement include: a modernised revenue-sharing formula by which the players will receive 27.5% of forecast revenue; an increase in female player payments from $7.5 million to $55.2 million; and an adjustment ledger that allows funding for grassroots cricket if revenues exceed $1.67 billion.
Nicholson said the players had fought hard to retain a revenue-sharing model because they believed it had worked well in the past.
The ACA president, former Test wicketkeeper Greg Dyer, said in a statement that the agreement was ground-breaking for Australian sport.