Sydney: Australia's retired Test opener Matthew Hayden has had his pay slashed by Cricket Australia after picking up an injury while playing in the Indian Premier League.
CA cut Hayden's retainer, after the opener was sent home from Australia's tour of the West Indies with an achilles tendon injury. CA officials believed Hayden had suffered or exacerbated the injury while playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League last April.
CA enacted a clause in its Overseas Club Playing Agreement to deny Hayden a portion of his retainer and any compensation or insurance for missing the Caribbean tour. It is believed Hayden claimed he should not have his pay docked because he suffered his chronic tendon injury throughout his distinguished 16-year international career.
Hayden, who retired last week, did not end up out of pocket because the Australian Cricketers Association stepped in to compensate the Test legend out of its own player insurance pool.
However, the case sends a warning to other Australian stars that they could be left on a limb by their employers if they are injured in the IPL, with the second version of the tournament scheduled for April.
CA appears to be taking a stance that it cannot be held liable for any injuries suffered in the IPL - even though it gives the nation's top players the green light to go.
Cricketers Association boss Paul Marsh claimed CA's handling of Hayden's case was "inconsistent". Marsh has put all players on high alert, advising them of the potential of a financial penalty by CA if they are injured during the IPL.
"Our issue was that we believed it was inconsistent with how similar issues of this nature had been handled previously," Marsh said.
"Our proposal to CA was that Matthew not be penalised by Cricket Australia in this instance.
"We have used this opportunity to educate players that CA may financially penalise them if there are issues of this nature going forward.
"It is far from the biggest issue that we are dealing with, but we would like to ensure that the correct principles are met."
Hayden will have a growing role in pushing the issues of players as he uses his status in the game to become a high-powered player advocate.
The batting great, who will draw on his own experiences to highlight player welfare issues, wants to play a role in Australian cricket's next Memorandum of Understanding.