Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia opener and Test vice-captain David Warner has once again warned Cricket Australia that the national team will boycott the Ashes if the ongoing pay dispute continues.
Australia are due to host England for the Ashes in November, but Warner insisted that the highly-anticipated series is unlikely to go ahead if the players’ contracts are cancelled after the June 30 deadline.
“I stick firm behind it,” Warner said in London. “If we are unemployed we have no contracts, we can’t play. So, from my point of view and speaking to the guys, we would love to see something happen between now and July 1 and I am sure that it is in the capable hands of the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association) to get to the table with CA and come to some form of an agreement.”
Last month, Warner stated that Australia “might not have a team for the Ashes”, but despite being criticised for his comments, Warner is sticking by what he said.
With the players fighting to retain the fixed revenue percentage pay model, Warner made it clear that the national and domestic players are united in their fight to ensure Cricket Australia don’t change the payment structure.
“It comes with my background and my history with that kind of stuff. So you know, it is water off a duck’s back,” Warner said. “I have a verbal stance, to stick up for all our players, and we are always talking about a fair share and equality. And that’s what we are sticking to.
“People have their own opinions and they can have those opinions, and for me, what has been written about me in the past or what gets written now, I don’t take any notice of that. My full support is with all the guys, and we’re all together.
“We’ve always said from day one that all the support is behind the ACA 100%. They are doing a great job for us. Obviously, from a players’ point of view, we are pretty vocal and upbeat about it. We are pretty sure that they will come to an agreement. But as you know, we are going to be unemployed come July 1. So we have to wait and see and play it out from there.”
While Warner is more than happy to let the ACA do the talking on the players’ behalf, he admitted that he and his team-mates are keeping a close eye on media reports to learn what Cricket Australia’s next move might be.
“Not really. It is only what we hear in the media and that’s how CA have been driving it the whole way,” Warner said. “They have been using the media as a voice and we get that message from there. As you said, we get a couple of emails.”
Despite the players and Cricket Australia at an impasse, Warner made it clear that his side remain focused on winning the Champions Trophy.
Australia only walked away with one point from their opening game with New Zealand on Friday as it was washed out.
As a result of this, Australia have to win their next two games against Bangladesh and England in order to boost their chances of making it to the semi-finals.
“For us, we galvanise all the time – it doesn’t matter what is going on outside of the game,” he said. “It is a big thing that we could be unemployed but from us, our job is to play cricket and focus on winning the tournament and not letting our country down in that respect. So as I said, our full mental frame is toward the tournament.”