Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have agreed to extend the existing CA/ACA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 12 months.
The agreement will allow CA to immediately move to finalise its annual international cricket player contract list and will allow the eight new Big Bash League (BBL) teams to start recruiting players for that new competition which is due to start in 192 days.
The MOU reinforces the partnership between Australian cricket and its players and reflects their common goal to strengthen Australian cricket. The MOU retains many aspects of the previous agreement but includes some significant changes, particularly with regard to the BBL.
Major aspects of the new MOU include
- A one-year MOU term
- Retention of players’ share of 26% of Australian Cricket Revenue
- Number of CA contracted players remains at 25
- Separate contracts for the BBL for all players
- Free agency player allocation model, (ie BBL teams and players can negotiate with each other as they choose, with a salary cap)
- Each BBL team can initially sign up to 2 overseas players in their squads of 18
- A reduction in the value of CA and State retainer pools offset by the introduction of BBL contracts
- State and Rookie contract numbers reduced as they now cover two competitions rather than three
- Separate to the existing marketing contracts, players will also provide a greater commercial contribution to the promotion of BBL
- A move in player remuneration to incentivise players
CA and the ACA will reserve their respective positions on the two contentious issues that stalled the negotiations (ie. players receiving a share of any investment by private investors in BBL teams and the proposed WACA redevelopment) until there is greater clarity on those issues.
CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland and ACA Chief Executive Officer Paul Marsh said each organisation believed it appropriate to defer long-term commitment to a new MOU until there was greater clarity about Australian cricket’s longer term finances.
Mr Sutherland said: “Australian cricket has one of its biggest summers ever coming up in terms of both fan appeal but also in terms of revenue coming into the game”.
“The launch of BBL is important to us and to the ACA because of its long-term value helping cricket recruit young people to become cricket fans; and the international program we hope to announce later this week will offer current and new fans a big year of international cricket.
“Recognising this, CA and the ACA have agreed to defer a number of outstanding issues until next year to ensure we can all get on with planning a big summer that will be important to fans and to players alike”.
Mr Marsh said the new agreement further strengthened the successful partnership between the players, the ACA, and Cricket Australia and demonstrated a willingness by both parties to find constructive solutions to difficult problems.
“The ACA is pleased to reach agreement with Cricket Australia on a one year MOU extension that provides a positive and pragmatic outcome for players and Australian cricket,” he said.
“The new Big Bash League has thrown up some complex issues that we haven’t previously encountered and it became apparent to both parties that we wouldn’t be able to resolve these prior to the expiry of the current MOU.
“However, we felt that getting a deal done before the current MOU expired was the responsible course of action and gives both the players and the game’s administrators certainty ahead of a very important 12 months for Australian cricket. We’ll work hard to resolve these outstanding issues once we’ve had more time to see how they impact upon the cricket landscape.
“There’s been a real willingness on both sides to find a way forward and the new deal ensures players at each level continue to be well looked after.”