Are Australia’s cricketers becoming greedy?

Andrew Young Roar Pro

By , Andrew Young is a Roar Pro

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    Directly shared with almost 700 thousand followers, Australia’s two premier fast bowlers, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, have taken to social media to express their sentiments on the current impasse regarding the proposed pay deal.

    One, a touch cryptic, the other was less so.

    Before we delve into the world of re-tweets, followers and favourites, let’s take a step back and give some context to the problem that faces Australian cricket – one a bit bigger than our perpetual gripes with selection.

    The current pay model was established 20 years ago under the leadership and fortitude former captain, turned commentator and CA board member, Mark Taylor. It is, as we have constantly been reminded, a revenue-sharing model.

    For those of us studying Arts as opposed to Business, a simple explanation is that of all the revenue coming in to CA, they share a percentage of that – 26 per cent to be exact – with the players.

    As it stands, the claim is that 70 cents from every dollar earned by the sport’s governing body in Australia, end up with the players. This model expires June 30. Under the proposed deal, Cricket Australia would instead control a pool of $500 million dollars – from which all contracted players would be paid.

    This is the cause of angst. While ostensibly about equality for players around the country, specifically for female cricketers, who can expect a 125 per cent increase, the ACA led by Alistair Nicholson, continue to reject a “lack of detail in the terms and conditions that underpin the agreement.”

    This lack of clarity is said to come in the percentage scheme section of the agreement. Whether or not the 18 per cent rise for state cricketers will accompany a percentage share pay packet as well…


    (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford)

    The issue that continues to frustrate the players is equality right the way down. At a time when the domestic scene, excluding the BBL, is being seen as little more than a trial for the international XIs, this proposed pay model doesn’t go far to suggest long term ambitions of changing this and returning the Sheffield Shield to the fiercely competitive breeding ground it once was.

    Combine this with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland’s blunt email declaring should the players not accept the deal, they ‘won’t be paid’, and we start to get a picture of a business that operates unilaterally – with little regard for the players.

    Hence the sentiments from our tweeters mentioned above. Or at least, that’s what the ACA wants us to think.

    Indeed the top-level players in men’s Australian cricket can expect a 30 per cent increase to their pay deals, should the proposed Memorandum of Understanding be accepted. To add some perspective, this year David Warner, and our favourite tweeter, Mitchell Starc, will have pocketed $2 million.

    So when considering legitimate equality right they way through the cricketing scene, are they the ones who really need an increase? Cricket Australia is taking steps in the right direction, but at the moment it seems to be negated by a constant need to fund the international men to the point of excess.

    I am in support of the players’ calls for #Fairshare – if that is what it really is. For me, the ones who deserve an increase as a part of the pay deal are the female teams, and those at a domestic level. Until there is clarity on how this will happen, I can’t see a Memorandum of Understanding being reached before June 30.

    As for Mitch and Pat, I really hope that when tweeting they aren’t thinking with their own pockets.