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Australia opener David Warner has revealed that the players are prepared to boycott the Ashes later this year if their pay dispute with Cricket Australia is not resolved.
Warner, who is Australia’s vice-captain in Test cricket, pointed out that Cricket Australia need to stick with the fixed revenue-percentage model in order to ensure players are taken care of financially.
However, Cricket Australia want the payment scheme to be restructured so that it becomes more flexible.
With the board and the Australian Cricketers’ Association having locked horns, Warner made it clear that if an impasse continues and the players’ contracts are voided, he and his team-mates will look to domestic Twenty20 tournaments to earn money.
“If it gets to the extreme, they might not have a team for the Ashes,” Warner told The Age. “I really hope they can come to an agreement… we don’t really want to see this panning out like that where we don’t have a team, we don’t have cricket in the Australian summer. It is up to CA to deal with the ACA. It’s obviously in their hands.
“We thought something along the lines of this might happen … it’s not come as a shock, but more the fact it has come so early. We won’t buckle at all, we are standing together and very strong, and as you can see from all the people that have spoken so far, we are all on the same wavelength and are sticking together.
“We want a fair share and the revenue-sharing model is what we want, so we are going to stick together until we get that. We are not going to shy away; we are just going to stick together.”
With the Natwest T20 Blast and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on the horizon, Australian players would need no-objection certificates no participate in the tournaments. But, if they are no longer contracted, then the need for the certificate becomes redundant.
“For us, as cricketers, if we don’t have contracts we are going to have to find some cricket to play somewhere else because that’s what we love doing, and we’re obviously going to look to maybe do something in the meantime, otherwise we don’t get paid,” Warner said. “A few boys might go over to play the Caribbean Premier League and I think there could be some of the England Twenty20s on as well. We want to keep participating for our country as much as we can, but if we don’t have a job, we have to go and find some cricket elsewhere.”
Last week, it is understood that Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard approached a number of senior players in the national team to offer them multi-year deals in exchange for forgoing the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, Warner pointed out that this stipulation was nothing more than “laughable”.
“It was quite laughable when I heard about it,” Warner said. “It is fantastic with the security [of a three-year deal] but you can’t just try and stop people from playing other tournaments. We understand where they are coming from, they would like their best players and contracted players to have that rest.
“I see it as a great opportunity to play T20 cricket, when they are scheduling T20 international cricket games when we are playing Test series – obviously there’s too much cricket being played internationally. [The IPL] gives us a great window to get the T20 format in.”