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South African tour cancelled as Cricket Australia pay dispute continues
Cricket Australia have confirmed the cancellation of the Australia A cricket team tour of South Africa, due to start next week, after failing to reach an agreement with the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) in its ongoing contracts dispute.
Cancellation appeared certain when the ACA stated they would not tour unless a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was agreed with Cricket Australia.
Contracts for more than 200 players who represent the men’s and women’s national sides and state teams expired on 30th June.
New deals proposed by Cricket Australia have not been signed by the players over an objection to the removal of an element which gave them a share of the governing body’s profits.
At issue in the dispute is Cricket Australia’s desire to change how the sport’s revenue sharing agreement between the governing body and players that has been in place over the past 20 years.
Cricket Australia claim that the arrangements will redirect money to grassroots cricket and that the contacts offered to players means they would be earning more.
However, ACA claims that players will actually receive less money in the real-terms.
Cricket Australia have stated they “regret” the decision taken by the players, asserting that progress had been made in talks with the ACA.
In a statement Cricket Australia advised “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.”
The Australia A tour was to feature four-day and limited-overs fixture and provide players on the cusp of national selection a chance to further their international claims as well as gain experience in South African conditions ahead of a proposed Test tour there next year.
Cricket Australia claimed the tour would have cost around $250,000 to stage, advising that “all funds that can be recouped as a result of not touring will be allocated by CA to the National Communities Facilities Fund.”
The ACA released a statement confirming an earlier resolution passed at a meeting of the ACA executive last weekend that players would not agree to tour unless an MOU "on fair terms" was in place.
In a statement it advised “it is with great frustration that with no progress towards resolving the current dispute, Australia A players confirm they will not tour South Africa.
"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.
"By making this call, the Australia A players have sacrificed their own ambitions for the collective; an incredibly selfless act that shows their strength and overall commitment to the group.
"All players are deeply disappointed at the behaviour of CA which forces this course of action, given the players would rather be playing for their country.
"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 players want to make sure all men and women who play the game are treated fairly, and that grassroots funding is not drained by a top-heavy bureaucracy.
"The ACA again calls on common sense to prevail and for the CA CEO to attend mediation.
"The ACA sits at the table awaiting CA’s genuine participation."
It is believed that meetings between the two parties have been held in recent days, after direct negotiations had remained stalled for months leading up to last Friday's expiration of the previous MOU.
It is also understood Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland and his ACA counterpart Alistair Nicholson have had numerous communications during that time, while the respective negotiating teams from both sides continued to work through the issues relating to a new agreement.
12th May 2017 - WACA TO HOST DECEMBER ASHES TEST
28th April 2017 - PLAYERS REJECT CRICKET AUSTRALIA PAY OFFER
27th March 2017 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA MOVES TO XXXX AFTER END OF TWO DECADE-LONG CUB LINK
6th January 2017 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE BELIEVES BBL CAN’T BEAT TEST CRICKET
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