Bonus for women as Australia puts big pay deal on table
SYDNEY, March 21 (Reuters) - Cricket Australia (CA) has proposed a new pay deal to players which offers large salary increases, particularly for women, but breaks with the 20-year model of a fixed percentage of revenue from the game going to the cricketers.
The A$419 million ($322.84 million) offer is a 35 percent increase on the current five-year deal, which expires in July, and was laid out by CA chief James Sutherland on Tuesday.
CA said the new deal meant international men's players, taking into account bonuses, match fees and domestic Twenty20 wages, would be earning an average of $1.45m a year by the 2021-22 season.
"We have placed the emphasis on increasing the guaranteed amount that the men will receive, rather than rely on any projected increase in revenue," Sutherland said.
"...CA believes that the model devised in the 1990s, which is based on a fixed percentage of revenue, has served its intended purpose -- to make Australia's cricketers some of the best paid sportspeople in the country."
The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA), the player's union, responded by saying they needed to scrutinise the small print of the offer and reiterated its stance that any new deal should include a revenue sharing model.
"CA has responded to the ACA's calls for improved pay and conditions for all cricket players regardless of gender and of the need for more investment in grassroots cricket," ACA chief Alistair Nicholson said.
"The ACA has fought long and hard for these causes. Men and women have stood united for a fairer deal for all and for the next generation of cricketers. The ACA commends our members for their resolve."
The biggest winners under the new deal would be women players, who will be included in the "memorandum of understanding" for a first time.
"Under the proposal, women will receive an immediate average pay increase of more than 125 percent," Sutherland added.
"As a result, our international women cricketers will see their average pay increase from A$79,000 to A$179,000, as of July 1 this year. By 2021, we expect to see our international women cricketers earning an average of A$210,000." ($1 = A$1.2979) (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien)