Australia’s cricket board gambled that greed would motivate top players into accepting a pay offer and while that bet has backfired the parties are likely to thrash out a deal in time to avert an Ashes boycott, former captain Ian Chappell has said.
Players have rejected Cricket Australia’s (CA) offer that would end a 20-year-old revenue-sharing model when the next collective bargaining agreement starts in July.
Former test skipper Chappell was a leading figure in Australian cricket’s most bitter pay dispute in the 1970s, which paved the way for the breakaway World Series Cricket.
CA CEO James Sutherland raised tensions earlier this month when he told players to agree to terms by the June 30 deadline or risk being unemployed.
It elicited a heated response from the Australian Cricketers’ Association, the players’ union, and opening batsman David Warner warned the board it might not have a team for the five-test Ashes series starting in November.
Chappell said Australia’s top players could easily “do a Chris Gayle” and play as free agents in the world’s lucrative domestic Twenty20 competitions like the former West Indies test captain did.