Melbourne : Former Australia skipper Allan Border has expressed his concerns for the upcoming home Ashes series this year amidst the long-standing pay dispute between Cricket Australia(CA) and Australian Cricketers Association (ACA).
"It just feels that Ashes could be under threat, there's a month until they're all out of contract and they're not even talking," news.com.au quoted Border as saying. "I'm a bit fearful. I've just got that feel it's going to get ugly."
"The guys now know exactly what the revenues are they know the percentage they get, back in the day we wondered if we were getting our fair share, but we just did what we were told," he added.
Insisting that players are going to stand strong, the Aussie great expressed hope that the matter would be solved soon and the players could get to some middle ground.
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".
The major reason behind the ACA's opposition is CA's proposal to scrap a shared revenue model for player payments, which has been in place for nearly 20 years.
Cricket Australia had in May threatened that players would not be paid beyond June 30, the date of expiry of their current five-year financial deal, if they don't accept the governing body's new proposed offer.
Hitting back at the threat, Australian opener David Warner had said the players are united to reject CA's proposal and that they would not "buckle at all" in their pay row with their national board.
The 30-year-old had further noted that cricket's marketplace offer both international and domestic players plenty of opportunities to play T20 matches elsewhere if CA maintained its hard-line stance.
The ACA has already announced that it will be establishing a player support fund for female and domestic cricketers in an event of the stalled MoU talks with CA not progressing June 30....