Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland. JAMES ROSS

Tour to rise out of the Ashes after pay deal

A RECORD player payment pool of $500 million will form the cornerstone of cricket's five year pay deal which was finally agreed to on Thursday morning.

An in-principal heads of agreements has been signed with a view to players having an official vote on the proposal which the Australian Cricketers Association has recommended they give the green light.

The Ashes have been saved and captain Steve Smith is now free to lead his men to Bangladesh later this month, Australia's first Test tour there since 2006, and female players have secured the biggest pay rise in women's sport.

The modernised revenue share model will give big increases in payments to international and domestic players with roughly 120 female players included in the deal for the first time.

Back pay will be given to the roughly 230 players who have been out of contract since the previous Memorandum of Understanding expired on June 30, which includes national and state players, once the new deal is finalised, which could take up to six weeks.  

Key elements of the deal include:

- Revenue sharing model for all players, male and female Australia's elite men's cricket will the highest paid of any sport in the country. Player payment pool to equal $500 million.

- Players to share in 30 per cent of forecast revenue

- $25 million will flow to grassroots cricket from the players if forecast revenue is achieved

- All uncontracted players, when the MOU is finalised, will receive back pay

Talks that began last November but stalled for much of this year accelerated recently amid the threat of a potential boycott of this month's two-Test tour of Bangladesh.

The increase involvement of Sutherland in recent times hastened a move towards agreement and amid the a threat form the CA boss last week of taking the matter to arbitration if delays continued, a marathon weekend of talks brought the deal even closer.

Accusations were veiled that Nicholson and his team were takin things too slow this week as they poured over every detail, and information was being exchanged via phone and email, frustrating those at CA headquarters.

But when the parties came face to face on Thursday morning with all changes made to what was a final draft, they shook hands and confirmed a 10-month impasse, that had at times threatened not only the tour of Bangladesh but also this summer's Ashes, was over.

"It will restore much needed security to the game of cricket," Sutherland said.

"It's a sensible compromise from both parties.  

"Change is never easy but sometimes it is necessary. This process hasn't been easy and history will judge whether it was all worth it in the end." 

News Corp Australia

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