VETERAN paceman Peter Siddle has insisted the players' ongoing pay dispute with Cricket Australia is about ensuring the strength of the sport for the future rather than a cash-grab now.
As the pay stand-off heightens with a June 30 deadline looming, Siddle said the players were not being "selfish” but were focused on making the sport stronger for the next generation of Australian cricketers.
"The players play a big part in being a part of Australian cricket. We just want to be treated fairly,” Siddle said.
"It's not so much to do with the situation we're in now and pay now, it's about the longevity of the game and making the game strong for the future and looking at that.
"That's the big one ... a lot of people believe that we are being selfish at the moment with what we want at the moment.
"But it's got nothing to do with that, it's about making the game stronger for when we're done and for the people that are going to play and continue after we're finished.
"It's about making sure cricket's strong, not just for now but for a long time and we want cricket to be around for a long time.”
Siddle was left off Cricket Australia's proposed list of national contracts when they were announced in April after a back injury forced an early end to his summer.
But the Victorian seamer said scans on the injury had been positive and he was in a "better position” than last year as he targets a return to the Australian Test team.
"I've obviously had a lot of longevity in the Australian team and obviously injuries gives other people opportunities, which is always disappointing,” Siddle said.
"But it gives me the challenge of pushing harder to get back in the side, which sometimes can be a bigger benefit than being always that certain starter.
"For me it's just about getting back for Victoria and I know when I'm 100% fit and bowling well that selection will look after itself.
"I'll be able to lead-in and play practice matches and get ready to go whereas last year I just went straight into games out of the nets.
"I'm in a better position and that was the reason for finishing the season early was to give myself every chance to get right for the summer.”
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