Cowan: Australia’s tour of Bangladesh in doubt due to pay dispute

“My gut feeling is probably hit and miss for security reasons (and) MoU reasons”

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Former Australia opener Ed Cowan has said that the ongoing pay dispute between the players and Cricket Australia could have huge ramifications if a deal is not struck by the June 30 deadline.

Cowan, who plays domestic cricket for New South Wales, pointed out that both Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), who are representing all the players, are very far apart when it comes to negotiations over a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

As a result of this, Cowan conceded that Australia’s tour of Bangladesh in late August could be in jeopardy.

“I could be joining the dole queue come July 1,” Cowan said on Fox Sports’ Bill and Boz show. “(Negotiations are) not going anywhere. Nothing’s happening. No, plenty’s happening, sorry, but nothing’s happening to resolve the pay dispute.

“In the background, the two parties are still very far apart. The players are staying resolute that they want a revenue share model and are very flexible about how it comes to that, but Cricket Australia aren’t budging.”

Cricket Australia already announced a 13-man squad for the two-Test series that will be played in Bangladesh.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been included, but left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc was left out as he is recovering from an injury.

Despite naming a strong side, Cowan is uncertain whether the players will travel to Bangladesh if the pay impasse is not resolved.

“30th of June there will be no deal — as far as I’m aware — so you can scrap that one,” he said. “The next line in the sand is probably the tour of Bangladesh, do the players go on that late August?

“My gut feeling is probably hit and miss for security reasons (and) MoU reasons.”

There are also concerns surrounding the Ashes this summer as Australia are scheduled to host England for the highly-anticipated series in November.

“The next line in the sand is probably October, when the adjustment ledger is due and Cricket Australia want a deal by then,” Cowan said. “And then the big final line in the sand is the Ashes. If things aren’t sorted out by then…”

Cowan also made it clear that the players want to play cricket, but added that they should be treated fairly.

“It’s worth noting that the players want to play,” he said. “They want to play for their country, they want to play for their state or their Big Bash team.

“But if this doesn’t get resolved then there will be a point in time where (fellow panellist and former Wallaby) Phil Waugh might be taking the gloves in the Ashes.”

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