You might have heard that Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) are close to ending their bitter dispute over pay.
Well, they’re not quite there yet.
Missed all the twists and turns so far? Here’s what you need to know about the dispute.
What’s happened recently?
CA said late last week it would take the bitter pay dispute to an independent umpire if there wasn’t a deal within a few days.
Then on Monday night, there were whispers about a potential resolution.
CA and the ACA shot down that prospect quickly, but they’re a lot closer to sorting everything out than they were on July 1 when this started.
@MaryGearin: ABC understands significant progress made in cricket deal; parties working thru number of steps;Key elements yet to fall into place @abcnews
@MaryGearin: ABC has been told by players’ union that any call re cricket pay deal resolution is PREMATURE – no peace in our time just yet @abcnews
Barring disaster, we could even be as close as 24 hours away from a new deal being announced.
What’s happening with the players?
Almost 230 players are out of contract and will not be paid a retainer until a memorandum of understanding is agreed.
There will be no back pay, no matter how long it takes. About 70 other players are on multi-year contracts that went beyond June 30.
The now uncontracted players don’t have to play, train or do media commitments, so it would not be a strike for them but unemployment.
If currently uncontracted players want to train, they’re not being prevented from accessing the Australian cricket training facilities and staff.
For the players on multi-year contracts, they will have to choose to strike to retain solidarity with their locked-out compadres.
Players have continued to train throughout the dispute, and the national men’s team is due to come together for a training camp in Darwin next week.
What about the games on the schedule?
The Australia A tour of South Africa that was supposed to start on July 12 was cancelled.
Despite making the semi-finals of the World Cup in the UK in late July, the women’s team are now in the same boat as the men because a special deal to get them through the tournament has expired.
Next in the pipeline for the men is a two-game tour of Bangladesh due to start on August 27 (the second Test is supposed to start on September 4).
Beyond that, it’s the Ashes. But they’re not safe either.
There’s big advertising dollars at stake
Cricket Australia (CA) used to own the players’ intellectual property — the rights to use their images and names — but those rights have now been taken over by a new company formed by the ACA.
The players’ individual endorsements will still be handled by their own agents, but their group licensing rights will be lost to CA, meaning it will not be able to use players in ads or to pursue sponsorship deals.
CA has warned players that entering into “unapproved endorsements” threatens future endorsement arrangements with CA, state and WBBL sponsors, and puts the player at risk of “not being able to enter into a contract for the upcoming season”.
Can players look to play elsewhere?
The women’s team had a temporary deal to the end of the World Cup. But that’s finished too. (Reuters: John Sibley)
If players want to pursue contacts with ICC-approved overseas clubs, CA has said they will need the governing body’s approval.
The union said this could be subject to legal challenge. Shane Watson, on the executive of the ACA, described this as a possible significant restraint of trade.
CA has warned players that ICC rules mean playing in “disapproved cricket (eg exhibition matches)” will see them barred from ICC-approved cricket for a minimum of six months.
The ACA has set up a hardship fund to support players in financial need — all except international men — covering all female players and male state-based players.