Australia news June 18, 2017

Players 'won't budge' on revenue - Warner

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The pay dispute at a glance

Australia's vice-captain David Warner has underlined the willingness of the nation's top players to go without employment in order to achieve the retention of the fixed revenue percentage model at the heart of the pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association.

Less than two weeks remain before the expiry of the current MoU, with CA and the ACA making very little progress in talks over how to reach a compromise on the next deal. CA is adamant in its desire to break up the revenue sharing model and fix the wages of all but the top male and female players.

Warner, who has been the most outspoken critic of the board in recent weeks after the chief executive James Sutherland threatened they would be left unemployed if the ACA did not agree to CA's terms, told Channel Nine that the players were committed to ensuring all cricketers shared in the game's upside, not just an elite few.

"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.

"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."

"From where I stand and the position I take on this, I try to take as much heat off [Steven Smith] as possible." - David Warner © Associated Press

CA last week named a squad for the scheduled Test tour of Bangladesh in August, but Warner stated bluntly that there would be no players boarding the plane for the series if no agreement had been reached. He also reiterated his view that the Ashes, too, would be threatened by a lengthy dispute.

"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 an 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 come 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."

There has been a contrast in Warner's outspokenness next to the more measured words of the national team captain, Steven Smith. Warner said he was happy to stick his head above the parapet on the issue, though admitted Smith could perhaps also be more vocal as the days tick down to the MoU expiry.

"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 this circumstance 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."

Talks between CA and the ACA are expected to continue this week.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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  • dunger.bob on June 21, 2017, 23:29 GMT

    I hope James Sutherland and his friends have been hitting the nets. There are precedents for management to step in and take up the slack created by the striking workers. I'm sure that would work here. .. I'd like to give a bouquet to an unknown prophet. Way back when Peever got the job one of the regulars said simply "this won't end well". I can't remember who it was but if you read this, take a bow mate. Brilliantly spotted from a long way off.

  • Nathan-22 on June 20, 2017, 7:03 GMT

    Such a shame the revenue share model is so detrimental to the future of cricket in Australia.

    Among other problems, revenue sharing is like a ball and chain on investment to grow cricket revenue. Any such investment results in (1) a net loss to cricket unless the return on that investment exceeds approximately 32% and (2) an increase in player payments (by their fixed % of the invested amount - when it comes back as revenue - plus their % of any return on the investment).

    It means cricket is better off not investing to grow the game.

    There is no issue with all players being paid really well. It just shouldn't be on a revenue share basis that cripples investment in growth.

  •   Cricinfouser on June 20, 2017, 4:18 GMT

    Hope everything will be OK asap. Without Australia cricket will DIE!

  • pitch_curator on June 20, 2017, 4:05 GMT

    @ THELUCKYCOUNTRY - Where do ICC and other countries come into the picture here. Focus on sorting out the mess between your board and players instead of blaming someone else. Lol. Oh and BTW if Aussies are that good in T20 then they might have so many WC in that format. How many do they have?? 3?? 4?? Lol

  • milepost on June 19, 2017, 20:09 GMT

    Not keen on this situation. If these guys don't turn out for Australia I'm going to be mighty peeved.

  • Avichall on June 19, 2017, 19:38 GMT

    This is absolutely awefull. Leaving country in crisis. Board must not step back now. I am sure there are better players than warner waiting for there chance.

  •   cricfan11702253 on June 19, 2017, 16:56 GMT

    Just move from % revenue to % profit. Fair compromise?

  • GWill1990 on June 19, 2017, 16:08 GMT

    @Theluckycountry Your posts are classic. I can't wait for your contributions when the Ashes kicks in. I have some thoughts on Australia which I think you'll agree are fair. Steve Smith is the new Bradman and puts Kohli, Root and Williamson in a can. Adam Zampa is the new Shane Warne and will spin Aus to victory in the Ashes, culminating in a 6-fer at the SCG; and Patto and Cummins will team up with Josh and Mitchell to blast the sorry England batters out, especially the massively overrated Cook (he literally only got runs in 1 series against Aus and has played poorly against them in other series) and Root (the guy hasn't even got a front-foot game. He is hopeless). End result 5-0 to the mighty Aus, aka the best team in world cricket.

  • Jono_M on June 19, 2017, 14:03 GMT

    @Custom Kid, it is what it is, Shield cricket in Aus if not run at a loss is certainly not making any great amount of money either, same for the domestic one day comp, if we want quality domestic cricketers coming through then T20 and the BBL are essential. Longer format cricket would most likely be underground by now without the shortest format and I suspect you realize that!

  • Theluckycountry on June 19, 2017, 13:58 GMT

    It wouldn't be an issue if the ICC gave us a much bigger share of revenue and a bigger say in how world cricket is run. Our players dominate all leagues, our T20 model is the best in the world and our players entertain and bring world sponsors and crowds in; attacking cricket is in our blood. We should get much more than say the Indians, who can't organise anything or the Poms with their pocket size grounds. Both play dour cricket too. The ICC need to basically hand things over to us and then our players would get the rich rewards they deserve and everyone would be happy.

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