Cricketers' union rejects Cricket Australia pay offer

MELBOURNE: The union representing Australian cricketers has rejected a pay offer from Cricket Australia which would guarantee a 35 percent increase in player remuneration over the next five years.

The Australian Cricketers' Association on Friday said the offer would create inequity between international and domestic players and short-changed women.

Under the new proposal, Cricket Australia would take 55 percent of all revenues to run the game while players and grassroots cricket would both receive 22.5 percent.

According to Cricket Australia, though, the offer would see average base salaries paid to members of Australia's women's team would immediately more than double to $179,000 Australian dollars ($134,000) — and an estimated average of 210,000 Australian dollars ($158,000) by 2021.

The sport's national governing body said the total remuneration for all players was expected to increase 35 percent to $419 million Australian dollars ($314 million) for players over the 2017-22 period. The average annual income for men representing Australia was expected to increase 25 percent to 1.45 million Australian dollars ($1.1 million) by 2021-22.

But the union objects to a proposal to change the pay structure, based on a revenue-sharing model. The new system restricts that to only the top international men's players.

"CA's proposal denies female cricketers the opportunity to share in the games' revenue," the ACA said. "(It) disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket (and) creates inequity amongst the playing groups.

"It is unfair for CA to create a situation, via its offer, that some players playing in a domestic team enjoy revenue share and others do not."

The ACA said the previous revenue-sharing model was the bedrock of Australian cricket, and players were prepared to accept a system in which their salaries rose or fell as revenue increased or declined.

"Players are prepared to increase their exposure to revenue risk given their preparedness to share any underachievement of revenue forecasts as part of a revamped revenue share model," the union said.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the five-year offer contained higher guaranteed payments and was designed to decrease the pay disparity between male and female elite cricketers. He urged the union to return to the negotiating table.

"This really is a ground-breaking offer and a fair deal for all players," Sutherland said. "We understand their commitment to the existing model, but the fact is that the world has changed, and it needs to be updated to take that into account.

"The reality is that international cricket generates the revenue, and this is shared with all levels of cricket."

The existing pay deal expires on June 30.