Out-of-contract Australian cricketers to get external funding boost
Most of Australia's cricketers are out of contract but they are unlikely to be out of pocket, as various sources of funding emerge to help tide them over during the impasse between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA).
"The ACA is in the process of securing a multimillion-dollar line of credit to support the unemployed players to counter attempts by CA to starve them out," an ACA spokesman said.
"Major international financial institutions have shown strong interests in supporting the players at this difficult time. The ACA is fielding support from private individuals who are also willing to back this move."
With little headway being made in the deadlock - the players want to retain the existing revenue-sharing model, while CA does not - 230 of Australia's cricketers, including all the top players on central contracts, have been without a contract since July 1. Ordinarily they would have been paid on July 15 but with that agreement now invalid, the Sydney Morning Herald also reported the "injection of millions of dollars in 'loans' from several wealthy backers" into a hardship fund set up by the ACA that could, according to the report, last "until Christmas."
Currently, only the Australia women's team is in action, in the ongoing World Cup in England. They came to an agreement to do so with CA, but will be out of contract if the dispute isn't resolved by the time the tournament ends. The first casualty of the pay dispute was Australia A's tour of South Africa, which was scheduled to begin on July 12 but has been called off after the Australian players refused to tour.
The Australia senior men's team are scheduled to tour Bangladesh in August, but that series is dependent on the ACA and CA arriving at an agreement. And though the Ashes, to be hosted by Australia later this year, is still some time away, the spectre of it not going ahead looms uneasily.