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Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Ian Healy has called on the country’s players to avoid striking at all costs as the pay dispute between the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) and Cricket Australia wages on.
Current and former Australian players hinted that they could go on strike after Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, via an email, said that uncontracted players would not be paid after June 30.
In 1997, Healy was part of the Australian team that voted to consider striking before a deal was sealed when both the board and the players agreed on a fixed revenue-percentage payment model.
The model has been in effect ever since, but Cricket Australia now want it to be restructured so it becomes more flexible.
“I think a potential strike over a model of payment is just not on,” Healy said. “The game is wealthy. Everyone is doing well. I would not even be threatening to have a strike.
“We are not talking about massive issues here. Strike action should be avoided at all costs and I think the players will feel that as well. They don’t want to strike.”
Healy, who is a former ACA president, pointed out that while the issues are not major, the two parties are a long way off from reaching a deal.
“Neither side are budging or really able to describe their arguments believably to the other,” he said. “Cricket Australia are yet to really produce their justifications in public. I think they want to create hungry cricketers who value performance. They feel first-class cricketers are earning sufficient money at the moment but they have not come out and said that.
“They don’t want players who are not playing, who have been dropped or are on injury payments, earning millions of dollars.
“The ACA does not want to lose face by changing the model so Cricket Australia needs to think about how they can change the model without the players losing face.”