Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke feels that the current situation in Australian cricket must be sorted as soon as possible and want players should be allowed to focus on the upcoming Ashes.

Clarke feels that the current Memorandum of Understanding should continue to be in effect for the next 12 months while Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) can sort out the issues behind closed doors.

“I think what needs to happen is keep the current MOU for the next 12 months, and allow the players to get back to what (they) do best – train, prepare, get ready for some important cricket,” Clarke told reporters at the launch of Channel Nine’s upcoming summer of cricket in Sydney.

“Cricket Australia, the ACA please go behind closed doors and sort this in private. The two MOUs that I was around for, both of them weren’t done by June 30, they both got extended so I don’t see any difference here.

“Just keep the same MOU for the next 12 months to allow negotiations to, let’s say the word continue, but sort negotiations out. The players want to play, they want to play for their country, there’s no doubt about it.

“Let’s allow them to play while this stuff gets sorted out in the background. I hate the fact that I’ve arrived back from England and this is taking media coverage over … the women on fire over in England at the World Cup. They’re not even getting a look-in in the media because the MOU is taking up those pages. I think it’s shit for the game,” he said.

The Australian players are currently unemployed as they have a pay dispute to settle with Cricket Australia. The Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) has extended its support to the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA).

“FICA is concerned with CA’s desire to end the percentage revenue sharing model that has so successfully underpinned the partnership between the players and administrators in Australia for twenty years,” FICA said in a media statement.

“The model has not only been hugely successful for Australian cricket but has been a model of best practise adopted by associations in cricket and other sports, worldwide,” the statement said.

Clarke also feels that while the women’s team deserves praise for their current showing in the ICC Women’s World Cup, the media is busy covering the on-going pay dispute.