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Australia A tour cancelled over pay dispute

Cricket

Australia A's tour of South Africa will not go ahead, with the players today opting out over the unresolved pay dispute with Cricket Australia.

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Clouds have hovered over the tour for months while CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) remained at loggerheads over a future funding model.

With no breakthrough achieved, the selected players finally opted out of the tour this morning, two days before they were scheduled to fly out to South Africa.

The ACA described the players’ move as selfless.

“By making this call, the Australia A players have sacrificed their own ambitions for the collective,” the ACA said in a statement.

The Australia A players for the July 12-August 8 tour have been training in Brisbane after assembling there on Monday.

The ACA had resolved at an emergency meeting on Sunday to not proceed with the tour unless a breakthrough with CA was struck after a June 30 deadline for a Memorandum of Understanding was missed.

The failure to strike a deal has left some 230 cricketers unemployed.

The ACA said today no progress toward solving the dispute had been made.

The tour was to include four-day matches and a limited overs tri-series, also involving India A.

Australia A’s squad of 19 for both formats included Test players Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell and Jackson Bird.

Cricket Australia said in a statement it “regrets that players have made this decision despite progress made in talks between CA and the ACA in meetings over the past week.”

CA says discussions this week should have allowed the Australia A tour to go ahead.

“While a new MOU has not yet been agreed, CA is of the view that these talks should have enabled the tour to proceed as planned,” the CA statement said.

“CA will continue to work towards a new MOU which is in the interests of both the players and the game and calls upon the ACA to show the flexibility clearly now needed to achieve that outcome.”

-AAP

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