The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) on Thursday announced that it will be establishing a player support fund for female and domestic cricketers in an event of the stalled MOU talks with Cricket Australia (CA) not progressing June 30.
The fund, titled the Women and Men Cricketers' Assistance Plan (WaMCAP) will be established to assist the players who need additional financial support if they are out of contract from June 30
Out of contract female and state players with a genuine need for financial assistance will be able to apply to access funds in support of necessitous expenses.
"We are genuinely committed to getting a deal done before June 30," ACA Player Liaison Manager Simon Katich was quoted as saying in an ACA media release.
"Unfortunately, however, the players and CA still appear to be a long way apart in the current negotiations, especially given CA are now refusing mediation."
"And with CA's threat last week saying that they would effectively lock-out the players after June 30, it looks as though this impasse may continue for some time yet. The players continue to be united with the ACA and are up for the fight when it comes to having the Revenue Sharing Model for all players - male, female, national and domestic," he added.
"There is no doubt that there is a degree of uncertainty about what lies ahead given June 30 is fast approaching, so whatever can be done to ease some of the pressure on the players is welcome."
Players out of contract at the conclusion of the current MOU on June 30 include all female players, all international male players and about half of the male domestic players. WaMCAP will be able to be accessed by out of contract female and domestic players, including rookies, for financial necessities to avoid unnecessary hardship until a new MOU can be agreed.
The first tour to take place after the expiry of the current MOU is an Australia A tour of South Africa, with the former international players Jason Gillespie, Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin to be among the coaching staff. The national selectors are yet to announce a squad for that tour.
Cricket Australia yesterday rejected ACA's request for mediation in pay talks between the two parties, reiterating the board's insistence that talks resume with its formal pay offer as the starting point.
In March, CA made an offer, proposing that the average pay of Australia's international women's players would rise from $A79,000 to $A179,000, while the average remuneration of state cricketers would more than double to $A52,000.
Under CA's proposal, only male international players would have the chance to share in any surplus revenue, while other domestic male players and women at both domestic and international level would have to settle for fixed amounts which would not fluctuate according to the game's income.
However, the ACA pointed out a series of concerns with the proposal, saying that it "disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket".
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