LONDON: Former Australia skipper Allan Border believes it was the players who won the Australian cricket’s pay war.
The long standing pay dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) finally came to an end as an "in-principle agreement" was signed the after final round of face-to-face negotiations on Thursday.
The deal guarantees state and international players will pocket up to 30 percent of an estimated USD 1.67 billion of revenue over the next five years, while female player payments will increase their stake from USD 7.5 million to USD 55.2 million. It also includes up to USD 30million for grassroots cricket.
The deal will pave way for the nation's professional players to be re-contracted and for this month's scheduled Test tour to Bangladesh to proceed as planned.
“The players have had a huge win,” Guardian quoted Border as saying.
“This has been a total knock-out in the 15th round for the players. They should be very happy with the situation, particularly the girls,” he added.
The former Test skipper, however, raised doubts over the future of country’s grassroots cricket.
“I can’t quite work out grassroots cricket [though], what’s going to change? They still go out there and do their chook raffles and fundraising events and nothing much has changed as far as I can tell,” said Border.
As a result of this development, the Steve Smith-led side tours of Bangladesh and India, and the Ashes series to be played Down Under will proceed as planned.
Australia's tour to Bangladesh is scheduled to begin from August 22.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has also breathed a sigh of relief after the signing of in-principle agreement.
Earlier, the players decided to boycott the Australia A tour of South Africa following Cricket Australia's failure to take any action to resolve a bitter pay dispute between the two governing bodies and had also threatened to take the same action for the Bangladesh series.
“It’s great news for Bangladesh. Definitely we are very happy to see the problem has resolved,” BCB boss Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.
“Their next commitment is in Bangladesh. Now after the dispute is resolved, we can look forward to hosting them,” he added.
Smith also admitted that the negotiations were challenging.
“It’s been a long and challenging process and it’s great that we can now get on with playing the game that we all love,” he tweeted.
“I’m excited that we can all start working together again to continue to grow our great game. I look forward to Bangladesh, India and an exciting summer of Ashes cricket,” he added.