Australia’s cricket board urged that greed could inspire top players right into accepting a pay offer and while that bet has backfired that the parties are likely to thrash out a deal in time to avert an Ashes boycott, former captain Ian Chappell has said.
Players have resisted Cricket Australia’s (CA) provide that will end a 20-year-old revenue-sharing model when the next collective bargaining agreement starts in July.
The proposal offers more cash than the current five-year CBA but allows just international players to share in excess revenues, while nationally cricketers would need to settle for predetermined amounts.
Former test skipper Chappell was a top figure in Australian cricket’s most bitter pay dispute from the 1970s, that paved the way to the World Series Cricket.
“I’m thrilled that the players are sticking together and staying strong with it,” Chappell said in remarks published by Sydney newspaper the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
“From afar it seems as though the board are trying to splinter the gamers, which I find a rather strange strategy.
“Maybe the plank believed, ‘You understand what the gamers are like’. They were working on the theory of urgency, that you maintain the top blokes pleased with cash and they will not care about the remainder.
“It seems like they have chosen the wrong target.”
CA CEO James Sutherland raised tensions earlier this month after he told players to agree on terms from the June 30 deadline or threat being jobless.
It elicited a heated response from the Australian Cricketers’ Association, the players’ union, and opening batsman David Warner warned the board it may not own a team for its five-test Ashes series starting in November.
CA have declined to comment further about the price dispute.
Chappell said Australia’s top players could easily “perform a Chris Gayle” and perform as free agents from the world’s rewarding domestic Twenty20 competitions like the former West Indies test captain did.
But he thought it could come to this.
“There will be more posturing and eventually they’ll come to their senses,” he said.