Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Players past and present have all voiced their opinions on the ongoing pay dispute between the Australian cricketers and Cricket Australia, but former wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist’s take on the entire saga may come as a surprise to a lot of people.
While the players have been fighting to retain the fixed revenue percentage payment model, Gilchrist believes that “Cricket Australia are offering a very, very fair deal for players”.
“It’s a different dynamic now what is was 20 years ago. I think Cricket Australia are offering a very, very fair deal for players. No one is going to go without and everyone is growing and increasing,” Gilchrist said on The Back Page Live on Tuesday night. “But I do see it from a players’ point of view as well, sticking together.
“The top players could’ve signed on and earnt a lot more, but they’re saying we’re sticking by the other cricketers at all levels.
“I do hope that they are thinking of the cricketer at the most important level and that is the kid signing on for his first year because grassroots cricket is under siege from other sports, like the various footy codes — AFL’s development officers triple cricket’s development officers — so there’s a lot at play but they’ll get there.”
Opening batsman and Test vice-captain David Warner has twice said that Australia are ready to boycott the Ashes later this year, but the last time a similar threat was made was when Gilchrist’s international career was still in its infancy stages in the mid to late 1990s.
“I can see a similarity,” Gilchrist admitted. “The players are sticking together with that unity, and that was certainly the case back then and I was a young player having my very first contract with Cricket Australia dangled in front of me, and here were my senior peers saying: ‘Don’t sign it, don’t break, don’t crumble’.
“And we didn’t, and 20 years later conditions are fantastic for players now. There’s no doubt about that. So that end result has been terrific. There’ll be an end, there will be an end to it.
“We’re nearly at June 30 (when players’ contracts expire), so that’s approaching quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been meeting in the last few days, the players’ association and the board. I think both sides are going to have to compromise.
“And having spoken to people in both parties, I think they’re both starting to say that and understand that. So it’s a matter of getting to the table. If it needs mediation from an external source maybe, but I think they’re possibly moving forward without the requirement of a third party to come into it.”