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Cricket Australia and players sign peace deal

A pay deal has been reached between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), the ABC understands, as the parties call a press conference for later this afternoon.

“Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland will join Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO Alistair Nicholson to make an announcement on the Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties,” a statement said.

The media conference is scheduled for 4:30pm at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The ABC understands the deal includes a version of a revenue share model, which the players were fighting hard to keep.

CA’s push to dismantle the player payment system, which had been in place for 20 years, was the main sticking point in negotiations.

Under the previous system, male players had been sharing in up to 26 per cent of Australian Cricket Revenue (ACR).

The ACR represents about 80 per cent of CA’s total revenue.

CA had argued it wanted to change the revenue system to give more money to grassroots cricket, which it said was “sorely” needed.

The players said they felt they had not been consulted enough on major decisions, like scheduling and rule changes, and were not treated as the game’s prime asset.

They also wanted what they said was fairer distribution of money for domestic and women’s cricketers.

Last week, the governing body said if no deal was reached, it was prepared to call in an independent arbitrator to broker a deal.

The previous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) expired on July 1, leaving 230 players out of contract and without pay.

About 70 domestic male players are signed on individual contracts that go beyond that date.

There have been threats to call off upcoming overseas tours, and even the Ashes series on home soil, after Australia A’s tour of South Africa was cancelled due to the dispute.

But with the deal set to be announced, there is unlikely to be any disruption to the tour of Bangladesh starting later this month.

Players, perhaps most notably vice captain David Warner, did not shy away from their frustration at CA for the way it has conducted itself throughout negotiations.

Agencies

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