Sydney – Australia’s cricketers will not back down in a
bitter pay dispute, David Warner has warned amid fears their October tour of
India is looming as a flashpoint.
As the June 30 deadline for a new memorandum of
understanding between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers
Association fast approaches, the Australia vice-captain insisted players won’t
budge on their demands.
“Well from July 1, we’re unemployed,” Warner told
Channel Nine late on Sunday.
“We’ve been threatened with that. We’re hopeful there’s
going to be an agreement done, it’s a sticky situation.”
CA has threatened not to pay contracted players beyond the
expiry of their current financial deal at the end of the month if they do not
accept a new offer, with the governing body determined to scrap revenue-sharing
after 20 years.
With a Test squad for an August tour of Bangladesh named
last week, Warner was adamant that a lockout was possible.
“From our point of view I want to play for Australia
and so do the other boys,” he said.
“But if there’s nothing that’s put in place for what
we’re trying to achieve here, from both point of views, we’re not going to tour
Bangladesh, there might not be an Ashes if we don’t have an MOU.”
For all the concerns about the Bangladesh tour, and the uncertainty
about the home Ashes series, cancelling the five ODI India tour in October
could cost Australian cricket more than it can afford to lose.
Offending India could jeopardise the nations’ reciprocal
agreement that has the Indians touring Australia in 2018-19, The Australian
Indian tours generate big money and Cricket Australia risks
forgoing the rivers of gold that will flow from hosting four Tests against the
world cricket powerhouse, it said.
The outspoken Warner conceded captain Steve Smith could
“probably push a little bit more” when it comes to stating the
While standing with his colleagues, Smith has taken a less
strident approach than Warner, diplomatically trying to downplay the prospect
of industrial action.
“From where I stand and the position I take on this, I
try to take as much heat off (Smith) as possible,” Warner said.
“He does lead us on the field, and rightfully so off
the field as well, he does a great job.
“In this circumstance I’m willing to go out there into
bat for everyone.
“Yeah, sometimes he could probably push a little bit
more, but I think he’s doing a great job, as well as the other players like
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood as well.”
Pay talks between CA and the players’ union are set to
continue this week with both sides saying they are committed to striking a new
MOU before the June 30 cut-off.