Melbourne, Aug 3 (IANS) After a protracted pay dispute between the Australian players association and the parent body Cricket Australia, a deal has been reached to resolve the imapasse paving the way for the nation’s professional players to be re-contracted and for this month’s scheduled Test tour to Bangladesh to go ahead as planned.
There was a final round of face-to-face negotiations between Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland and his Australian Cricket Association counterpart Alistair Nicholson here on Thursday.
“The Heads of Agreement will return much-needed certainty to the game of cricket. It will allow all state and international players to be contracted immediately, and will also allow the all-important tour of Bangladesh to proceed as planned.
“Today’s agreement is the result of a sensible compromise from both parties. Change is never easy but sometimes it’s necessary. As custodians of the game, Cricket Australia is responsible to seek change wherever it’s needed rather than just putting issues into the too hard basket,” Sutherland was quoted as saying by www.cricket.com.au.
“This process hasn’t been easy and history will judge whether it’s been all worth it in the end. Neither side has got everything that we wanted out of these negotiations but they shouldn’t be approached with a winner-takes-all mindset.
“I think we’ve reached a good compromise, one that we can both live with and one that will be good for the game and good for Australia’s cricketers,” he added.
The bone of contention during the long-drawn dispute has been the model by which the players are paid.
Sutherland had hinted last Thursday that should a resolution to the nine-month dispute not be found this week, CA would propose that the unresolved items be sent to independent arbitration.
That would help 230 or so players who are out of contract upon the expiration of the previous MOU on June 30 to be re-employed.
“The executive of the ACA will recommend to Australia’s male and female cricketers to accept a renewed MOU secured under an in-principle heads of agreement between CA and ACA,” Nicholson said.
“Players will now consider this recommendation into this agreement and we recommend that it will be supported. We will conduct a player vote in the next 24 hours to follow past precedent, but we expect that to come back positive,” he added.
“After the 10-month negotiation the ACA and Cricket Australia have agreed. All uncontracted players, on the signing of the full MOU which will continue to be negotiated for the next four to six weeks will receive back pay (from July 1, when many became uncontracted) when that’s resolved.”
Australia’s men’s Test team are scheduled to fly to Dhaka on August 18 to begin their two-Test tour of Bangladesh.