Australia ‘A’ tour of South Africa has been canceled after players boycotted the tour to keep their unity intact in the wake of a pay dispute between professional cricketers and Cricket Australia.
With talks between the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) and Cricket Australia (CA) failed to resolve the issue before deadline June 30, players are facing unemployment. Players’ five-year agreement expired at the end of the last month.
The ACA held an emergency meeting in Sydney last weekend and players decided that they would boycott the ‘A’ tour unless CA offers them a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed this week. Also read: PCB has Decided to Take Compensation Claim Against BCCI to ICC
“It is with great frustration that with no progress towards resolving the current dispute, Australia A players confirm they will not tour South Africa,” the player’s union said in a statement on Thursday.
“By making this call, the Australia A players have sacrificed their own ambitions for the collective; an incredibly selfless act that shows their strength and overall commitment to the group.
“All players are deeply disappointed at the behaviour of CA which forces this course of action, given the players would rather be playing for their country.” Also read: Chris Gayle Returns to West Indies Squad for One-off T20 Against India
CA has a decade old model which players refused to accept. Australia’s cricket governing body believes the revenue-share model is unfit for modern times and it starving grass-roots cricket of funding, while players say it has underpinned the game’s growth and prosperity over the past 20 years.
The ACA said on Thursday that the governing body refused mediation or to “offer any genuine flexibility” in negotiations and called for “common sense to prevail” with CA chief executive James Sutherland becoming directly involved in talks.
The “A” team, lead by Test batsman Usman Khawaja, were scheduled to play two four-day matches and a 50-over tri-series against India and South Africa on the tour.
The senior Australia team is scheduled to play a two-test series in Bangladesh in August and September before a one-day series in India and then the Ashes at home against England.
(With agency inputs)