~~Aussie players~~ fees freezed due to slow down~~

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2003, 0:12 [IST]
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Melbourne: The tightening of media rights was the reason for the freeze on payments to Australian cricketers, International Cricket Council (ICC) president Malcolm Gray said on Wednesday. The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) and Australian Cricketers Association (ACC) have advised international and state cricketers their payments would not increase as predicted in the next two years. This follows a slowing in the growth rate projected for 2001-05. Gray said the freeze in payments was due to a slow down in the world economy and television rights 'flattening'. "Television deals won't necessarily decrease but that golden era of the 1990s has come and gone and I think it was a bubble," he said. "You've got to remember that cricket was financed almost by the chook raffle up until 20 years ago and then television came along over the last two decades and it was absolutely huge growth to all sports, including cricket." "The television market today is not what it was three years ago and I think that flatter market will continue." The player payment pool for 2002-03 is A$ 24 million ($15.3 million) and this had been projected to increase to A$ 26 million and A$ 28 million in each of the next two financial years. The ACB has revised the player payment pool projections to A$ 25 million and A$ 27 million for the next two years. Copyright AFP 2001

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