Aussie cricketers to get 25 percent of revenue

Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Australia's contracted cricketers will receive pay rises and improved welfare support under a new agreement announced in Melbourne between Cricket Australia (CA) and the players' union.

After months of difficult negotiations, it was agreed that CA-contracted player retainers will increase by almost six percent annually.

Under a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed by CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), players will receive 25 percent of an Australian cricket revenue pool.

CA-contracted players will receive 55 percent of the pool money, while state-contracted players will get 45 percent.

A higher negotiated amount of 2.8 million dollars ($2.1 million) will be invested in career and welfare programs over the life of the agreement, including a set fund designed to encourage players to take up tertiary study.

CA-contracted players will receive a minimum of 145,000 dollars ($112,000) under their retainers for the 2005-06 season, rising by 5,000-dollar increments over the following three seasons in the life of the agreement. No maximum figures were revealed.

Match fees for Test matches will be 12,250 dollars for the next two seasons, rising to 12,750 dollars a match in the last two seasons of the period of the memorandum of understanding.

Contracted players will get 4,900 dollars for a One-day International, rising to 5,100 dollars in the 2007-08 season.

Twenty-five cricketers are currently on CA retainers with each of the six Australian states allowed between 16 to 20 contracted players.

"Our starting point in negotiating this new agreement was to ensure that we can continue paying our players well, allowing them to share in the financial success of the game, without compromising the game at grassroots level," CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Results of a recent review into Australian cricket suggest it is in good shape, but cant afford to rest on its laurels and expect to maintain its privileged place in the Australian way of life.

"We need to nurture the game, both at the elite level and the grassroots and due to the co-operation of the ACA we are now in a better position than ever to do this," he said.

Outgoing ACA chief executive Tim May said the new agreement was an acknowledgement of the players contribution to the success of Australian cricket off and on the field.

"Our players have worked hard and achieved great things for Australian cricket and they deserve to be rewarded for this success and the revenue growth that this success has created," the former Test off-spinner said in the statement.

"By maintaining a 25 percent share of Australian cricket revenue (pool), players have an incentive to grow the games revenues and satisfy and support sponsor initiatives.

"An important platform of the new agreement is the significant increase to funding for the players career and welfare program."

The program will assist and encourage players to commit to higher education and development of their post-cricketing careers, together with an expanded base of welfare resources off the field.

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