Will Australia’s cricketers stand together or are the temptations too great for some?

Dave Richardson Roar Pro

By Dave Richardson, Dave Richardson is a Roar Pro

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    The current pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) is, in essence, a good old-fashioned industrial dispute – CA as the mean employer, the ACA as the trade union on behalf of the elite downtrodden.

    As things stand, it would seem arbitration has little hope of success. The players are holding firm and CA is not yielding.

    But the big question is whether all players will continue to do so?

    The climate at the moment is one of ‘collective bargaining’, but CA will surely go down the ‘individual bargaining’ route when it comes to the crunch. That’s what employers do when challenged.

    If tweets are a guide, it looks like the players will hold firm, but not every player tweets and not every player is at the top of the hierarchy. Nor does every player have the luxury of filling their wallets from the multitude of T20 options available, stints in county cricket, and the benefits of promotional deals.

    CA will play on this and hope those at the lower end come to the party.

    A cunning CA plan to create a schism between players and the creation of a new era of rebel cricketers.

    And it is not hard to see it happening.

    Most of the tweeters are remaining strong but it is interesting that Steven Smith has only gone to the lengths of simply re-tweeting an ACA tweet. Hardly leading from the front if this is to be won or lost on Twitter.

    Perhaps this is where the schism may develop from?

    Does Smith really want to run the risk of losing his Test career and captaincy when he is in his pomp? I suspect not. Does Smith really need to worry about future generations and a revenue-percentage-based wage system when he can take the money and run now?

    Perhaps unfair on Smith, perhaps not his thinking at all. But he has the second-most important job in Australia and why would anyone want to lose it?

    Then there are also others at the lower end of the hierarchy that have decisions to make.

    Matthew Renshaw and Peter Handscomb are both new to Test cricket with a Cricket Australia contract awaiting so they can build on their promising careers. It must be tempting.

    Glen Maxwell is pencilled in at number six for the Ashes and if he doesn’t sign he’s likely to never see Test cricket again.

    Will Matthew Wade get the offer of a contract? If he does, surely he takes it.

    Pat Cummins is back in the Test team with a dream of an Ashes series ahead. Ditto for his young fast bowling comrades.

    But are they comrades? Is this a group of young men that can really stand strong together?

    For the future generations and for themselves they should. But will they?

    Is there enough fire in their bellies to run the risk of losing their international careers, knowing there are enough talented cricketers in the Sheffield Shield that could fill their void?

    Cricket Australia clearly don’t think so.

    The player mantra should be ‘can’t pay, won’t play’, but for young men with the dream of featuring in an Ashes series, it may just be too much.

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • May 20th 2017 @ 12:18pm
      Chui said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

      Honest question for someone involved in IR law.

      Can a player’s strike be deemed illegal by an IRC the way other strikes by trade union members are?

    • May 20th 2017 @ 12:48pm
      mozza said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

      pick a team of shield players – will make make the ashes heaps more interesting – sick of this current overrated borish xi

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2017 @ 1:13pm
        Rellum said | May 20th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        The Shield players are in this with the test players, hence the desire on the part of the players to stand up for all levels of players off the game, including grass roots. It is CA who wants to take away from that, so no Shield players will be fronting up, or even 2nd XI players if I understand correctly. You are going to have to settle for 1st Grade players, if that will make it interesting for you.

        • May 21st 2017 @ 1:03pm
          Amith said | May 21st 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

          The players are correct on this one, they want to have the revenue model which allows them to benefit if things are good and they get less if Aus is not winning or if the revenue is down, its performance based and i agree with them as this is how it is done at every office work place too

    • Roar Pro

      May 20th 2017 @ 3:10pm
      David McDaniel said | May 20th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

      The players are paid more than enough and the CA is proposing the money saved will go to grassroots. They should stop being greedy, will no one think of the children?

      • May 20th 2017 @ 8:40pm
        Simoc said | May 20th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

        Yes the CA should stop being greedy. They’re a ” job for the boys” hopeless mob of backslappers trying to take the game back twenty years, to keep themselves relevant. If it’s taken Sutherland in excess of 10 years to decide he wants to fund grassroots cricket more, that tells you just how incompetent he has been at his job. He has introduced masses of coaches at the top level for heaps of cost and zero benefit compared to the previous set up and results over a similar period.

        The current funding model works successfully across the world of professional sport. CA needs to employ professionals into the jobs rather than these in-house pampered amateurish ex-cricketers that keep keeping their collective snouts in the trough.

        It matters little anyway as T20 is what the fans and the players want and CA isn’t required or any good at understanding T20. The test matches are for the journos and ex-players where they can pass the time doing very little.
        CA wouldn’t make this play if the upcoming series was vs Pakistan.

        • May 21st 2017 @ 1:04pm
          Amith said | May 21st 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          Players want a model based on performance, i don’t see how this is being greedy, and this model has worked well since 1997

      • Roar Guru

        May 23rd 2017 @ 10:57am
        Chris Kettlewell said | May 23rd 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        From what I can tell, CA actually seems to be trying to offer the top players a lot more money under this agreement, but that it will be at the expense of Sheffield Shield cricketers and the like and include caveats like “you shalt not play IPL”.

        Basically, they seem to be agreements totally based around what CA believes will earn them more money. Players playing IPL, getting better T20 skills that can potentially help Australia win a T20 comp somewhere overseas which isn’t even broadcast in Australia they see as no relevance, while David Warner scoring hundreds before lunch in a test in Australia they see as high relevance. BBL makes them money, so they will offer more money there. Sheffield Shield only costs money, it doesn’t make any, so therefore they will look to take money away from there (who cares if that needs to be strong to produce the cricketers who will do well in test cricket and make them money, they still don’t see it that way).

    • May 20th 2017 @ 9:16pm
      BrainsTrust said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

      The money will go into the Big Bash expanding it yet again.
      As to what happens to the Sheffield SHield who knows, and the money paid to those playing it will be reduced again and transferred to the Big Bash.
      The BCI have not paid a cent for the IPL, they just collect money from it.
      They don;t even really bother paying the Indian team either, where the money goes, or where it went who knows.
      I think Cricket Australia thinks that the future of cricket is in T20 comps, so that if it pours enough money, markets it enough then it will become a rival to the IPL.

      • May 21st 2017 @ 10:16pm
        MANISH K RAO said | May 21st 2017 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

        Big Bash can never become a rival to IPL. Simply because Australia doesn’t have the market compared to India. And BBL revenue is in few millions while IPL is in Billions.

        • May 22nd 2017 @ 12:19am
          Don Freo said | May 22nd 2017 @ 12:19am | ! Report

          And, of course, the administrators and franchisees in BBL, don’t “manipulate” results like they do in IPL and they don’t bet on arranged spot outcomes.

          IPL won’t have many challengers to that model. The better cricketers, however, are quite likely to gravitate to the more sporting contests of BBL.

    • May 21st 2017 @ 9:36am
      Don Freo said | May 21st 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      A stand off will see a clean out of CA. Packer history, alone, shows that the public votes with its feet. Play second tier and the attendances plummet. (Mind you, I’d go. I love watching the next wave…although it would probably be made up of Henriques, Finch, Fergusson, Ahmed, Bollinger types. I wouldn’t watch them.) The up and comers will stand with the players.

      The fair slice of the pie that the players seek is not at the cost of grass roots. CA simply want more to hold on to…for no good reason apart from being able to say they won an argument.

      • Roar Guru

        May 23rd 2017 @ 11:01am
        Chris Kettlewell said | May 23rd 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        Although the thing here is that it wouldn’t be made up of those guys, because they are all ACA members too and part of this process. Unless you are suggesting that CA would offer them massive contracts to break ranks and play test cricket.

        CA will try to play hard-ball here, but I can’t imagine them letting this get so far that it could negatively impact on the Ashes. In many ways CA has more to lose than the players do. You can’t look outside the top 100 players in Australia and still manage to build a competitive test side that people will want to pay $100+ per seat to come and watch!

    • May 21st 2017 @ 2:49pm
      davros said | May 21st 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

      well i guess it comes down to ….do you want to be known amongst your peers forever as a SCAB !

      Love to see a clean out of the weasels in C A

      I remember when australia got rolled in a couple of days for not many by south africa in tassie .

      The resultant hue and cry and Smiths bagging of his own players …on camera .

      Sutherland fronted the media …and was completely a taken back when a reporter had the temirity to ask … IS YOUR JOB SAFE ? The look on his face was like he had swallowed a shit sandwich . But right then and there i saw the fear in his eyes …you could see him thinking f…k this serious !!!

      Next thing you know heads rolled left right n centre marsh was gone in under 2 days …it was back to the future with Hohns and Chappel …lucky it worked out …South africa on a benign adelaide pitch was a much different prospect …Crises averted ….
      Mr Teflon and his RA RA sidekick had saved there arse by sacking those underneath and cauterised the wound .

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