MELBOURNE: Australian players will not travel to Bangladesh for a two-Test tour starting this month until the pay dispute between them and the sport’s national governing body is resolved, captain Steve Smith said on Tuesday.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) and Cricket Australia’s (CA) have failed to resolve a long-running pay dispute that has left around 230 players effectively unemployed after the previous five-year agreement expired in June.
The Australia ‘A’ team boycotted their South Africa tour in July after a new Memorandum of Understanding could not be agreed and Smith says the senior team will skip the Bangladesh tour, which is scheduled to start on Aug 27.
“I’d like to, but as we’ve said for a long time we need to get the deal done first,” Smith told Fox Sports.
“I don’t think it would be fair for us to go away after the (Australia) A guys were very strong on not going away on their tour, for us to then go away I don’t think that’s fair.
“CA know this, they’ve been told this. I told [CA’s Executive General Manager Team Performance] Pat Howard personally that this was how things were going to be if there wasn’t a deal done.”
The dispute revolves around CA’s scrapping of the two-decade-old revenue share model, by which players get a fixed share of the organisation’s annual revenue, in the new pay deal. Local media reported that CA is on the verge of an agreement with the players’ union and Smith remained hopeful that a solution would be found.
“It’s had some difficult moments,” the 28-year-old said. “When this is all over with, I have to deal with Pat Howard, I have to deal with the (CA) Board and speak to (CA chief executive) James Sutherland so I have to be careful with what sort of lines I tread.
“Talking to the two parties and trying to figure out what each of them want and the best way forward. It’s been a long process and hopefully it comes to a close soon.”
Sutherland said last week that his organisation would take the pay dispute to arbitration if a resolution was not found by this week.