Cricket

Players withdraw from Australia A tour




Australia A’s squad, led by Usman Khawaja, resolved not to tour if there was no progress in MoU talks © Getty Images

Australia’s players have chosen to withdraw from the Australia A tour of South Africa after there was no material progress made in pay talks between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association this week.

The decision was reached by the Australia A squad – lead by Usman Khawaja and Travis Head and also featuring Glenn Maxwell, among others – in Brisbane on Thursday morning after Cricket Australia asked for a determination to be brought forward by a day for logistical reasons.

Players had previously stated, via a series of 14 ACA resolutions at an emergency executive meeting in Sydney on Sunday, to pull out of the tour if no progress was made in talks this week. While CA and the ACA have been in discussions, neither side has been prepared to back down from their opposing views on a fixed revenue percentage model for the next MoU – CA wish to break it up, the ACA to retain it.

“It is with great frustration that with no progress towards resolving the current dispute, Australia A players confirm they will not tour South Africa,” the ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson said. “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.”

More to come…

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig


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