Cricket Australia rejects mediation in player pay impasse
SYDNEY (AP) Cricket Australia says it's unacceptable that the union representing top players in a bitter pay dispute wants the impasse to be referred to independent mediation.
The Australian Cricketers' Association has called for the dispute, which has led to warnings of a player boycott of this year's Ashes series against England, to be put before a mediator.
But in a response on Wednesday, Cricket Australia chairman David Peever described the union's request as "extraordinary" and called on players to participate in negotiations before seeking the intercession of a mediator.
"There may be genuine issues of contention from the ACA's perspective," Peever wrote in a letter to the players' union. "However, they should not be an insurmountable barrier to even commencing good faith negotiations. The approach the ACA has taken in demanding certain preconditions be met before it is prepared to begin negotiations is the fundamental reason why no progress has been made to date."
The dispute centers on the players' wish to retain the long-standing revenue-sharing model under which players have been paid, and Cricket Australia's desire to move to a new model.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has written to the ACA, warning that players might not be paid after existing contracts end on June 30 unless they agree to new terms.
That led Australia vice-captain David Warner to suggest Australian players might boycott the Ashes series, beginning in November, if their demands are not met.
Peever called for negotiations to resume in good faith and without preconditions.
"The present impasse needs to be broken and a mechanism found that allows good faith talks to finally start and move forward as quickly as possible," he said.
Updated May 17, 2017