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"Threats one day and promo-videos the next": Cricket pay war escalates

Cricket

Cricket Australia has stepped up its war of words with the Australian Cricketers' Association as the ongoing pay dispute continues to rumble on.

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In a strongly-worded statement released last night, CA hit back at accusations of financial mismanagement by former Test batsman Simon Katich, the ACA’s player liaison manager.

The ex-NSW captain has called for an independent investigation after CA revealed, in a video outlining the proposed pay offer to players, that the BBL lost $33 million over five years due to the start up costs involved.

Katich said the claims defied logic, prompting an angry response from CA, which has given players until June 30 to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that has been tabled.

CA has hit back saying the union doesn’t know what it takes to run elite cricket and that it was aware in December of the financial position of the BBL.

“As the ACA is well aware, the success of the BBL is not based on money alone,” the statement read.

“It was set up to increase our fan base and attract more people around Australia to pick up a bat and ball and play cricket. It is why we have kept the same entry-level ticket prices of $20 for adults and $5 for children for six seasons.

“The summer of Big Bash, now including the Women’s BBL, is a remarkable success for bringing more and more fans and families to the game, but it has cost money, as every start-up business does in its early years.

“The ACA has been aware of the BBL’s financial position for six months – it was detailed in CA’s initial submission in December.

“It is extraordinary for the ACA to suggest that the game has been mismanaged by Cricket Australia, considering players have benefited from the success and growth of the game for the past two decades.

“Their criticism suggests they still do not understand that it takes 71 per cent of cricket’s total investment to run elite cricket. It also demonstrates why the current fixed-percentage model is hurting cricket.

ACA chief Alistair Nicholson accused CA of haranguing players by releasing the video, and said it offers nothing new but only re-states the governing body’s position.

“This is simply rehashing their offer from March in a different format,” Nicholson said.

“Same numbers, same lack of transparency and same philosophies that the players have categorically rejected.

“Surely, there is a point at which the penny has to drop and CA stop haranguing the players and come to the table to mediate.”

“It’s threats one day and promo-videos the next.”

-AAP

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