The pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association is attracting plenty of opinions and the divide that threatens to cause a major rift in Australia has found at least one player who feels that Cricket Australia, surprisingly, is offering players a fair shake.
That would be star all-rounder Adam Gilchrist, who in a TV appearance said, “Cricket Australia are offering a very, very fair deal for players.”
Collective bargaining agreements such as those facing cricket are often the source of much posturing on both sides, and they invariably wind up being about the smallest of margins.
Gilchrist also expressed unity with his fellow players, so he might be practicing for a career in politics come the day he can no longer keep wicket of swing the willow. He stated, “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.”
Cricket Australia is sticking to the position that they need to have a larger share of the pie in order to support cricket at the developmental levels at the grassroots levels, where youngsters with athletic potential are paying more attention to other sports, in particular the footy codes.
There has been relative peace on the cricket labour – management front since the middle to late 1990s. In that situation, players maintained unity and came out much the better well off for sticking together as they did.
Twenty years hence, players enjoy fantastic financial incentives at the top level and the game itself has been a revenue generator for Cricket Australia, so it sometimes gets a bit tiresome to wait out the ultimate new agreement.
The two sides have until the end of the month go finalise the details and there is sure to be some compromise, as neither side would want to be remembered as the killer of the golden egg laying goose.