Melbourne, Feb 25: Cricket Australia (CA) is all set to implement the Argus review's central and most contentious recommendations, which says that a player's pay must be weighted towards team and individual performance. The decision may lead to an unrest between the players and the management as it plans to move away from a fixed player payment pool.
Currently the players get 26 per cent of revenue and the central contracts are paid from that, but the CA wants the percentage to be on a sliding scale, in which the players would be rewarded when the team excels and punished when the team fails.
The policy of allocating 25 lucrative central contracts per year is certain to be amended and it would probably be reduced to 20. CA chief executive James Sutherland is keen to introduce a policy based on paying "the right money to the right players at the right time for the right performance".
"It's something everyone is familiar with: you get paid more if you perform better. On the flipside of that, if you don't perform well then why should you get paid the same amount?," asked Sutherland.
"Our players get paid the same amount whether we win 4-0 against India or we lose 0-4. Does that make sense? I don't think it really does.
There's an argument to say (under the current system) 'if they perform crap then next year their contracts are going to be re-appraised and they'll find they'll get demoted in the rankings', but what if there's no other players to replace them?
"If there's no other players who are better, then they'll still be in the same ranking spot and they'll still get the same pay," he added.
Sutherland said that he became unhappy with the fact that the players who were being given central contracts mid-year fail to live up to the mark and fall below uncontracted players, who play regularly enough to earn an upgrade.
The CA chief wants "a smaller group that they (selectors) have greater confidence in". "No one's going to be worse off by this because their performances are going to justify it, and the right people will get the right money.
"There's probably four or five players who get a contract at the start of the year and don't play enough games -- if they weren't contracted -- to actually get an upgrade...there's another misallocation of funds," said Sutherland.
Meanwhile, ACA chief Paul Marsh confirmed CA's decision to pay players more than 26 per cent of cricket-related income, if they perform well but he felt the proposed pay model was against the players.
"The upside is a lot less than the downside, in terms of the quantum...and the benchmark is reasonably high," said Marsh. "I don't think we're in a position to deliver to our players a model that's worse than what we've got currently, just like CA aren't going to want to deliver a model that's worse (for them)," he added.