Australia’s sports minister, Greg Hunt, has said the that the national government could step in and mediate in the pay dispute between the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) and Cricket Australia (CA).
The on-going dispute took another turn on Saturday when a spokesperson for the ACA questioned what CA are doing with their 80% of the revenue brought in by cricket in Australia.
Cricket Australia though has accused the ACA of keeping players in the dark regarding the offer they have tabled and with current contracts up for renewal at the end of June, Australia players could become free agents and sign with leagues around the world.
Opening batsman David Warner even said the Aussies might not have a team when the Ashes series against England starts at the end of the year but Hunt does not foresee such a scenario happening.
Hunt told ABC’s Insiders: “If it got to a last-minute situation, I suspect that we would offer to provide good officers brokering between the parties, but there’s six months between now and the Ashes.
“It would be unthinkable that in the end we wouldn’t have a full team.
“I do not see either the players or the administration returning to the late ’70s where we had a second rate team.
The players love playing for Australia, Cricket Australia knows this is not just fundamental to sport, it is part of our national identity. I’m very confident they will reach an agreement.
“What I don’t want to do across all sports is try to step in and be a mediator in a contract dispute.
“If there were a fundamental threat at an appropriate time we would offer to work with them, but all the advice I have is that with six months to travel, the Ashes will be proceeding with a full Australian team and on Boxing Day you’ll have Steve Smith, David Warner and the rest of the team out there.”