Australian cricket on edge of 'June 30 cliff'
A REVISED pay proposal from Cricket Australia that could bridge the divide between international and domestic players has failed to penetrate the impasse that has the sport on the verge of a meltdown.
The current Memorandum of Understanding expires next Friday after which about 230 male and female cricketers, including all national players, will be unemployed if no new deal is done.
Uninspired by a rush of meetings in the past two weeks, the Australian Cricketers Association called for "emergency mediation" and urged Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland to get involved in talks on his return from the UK as a matter of "respect".
But just as the union launched its plea CA, emboldened by face-to-face visits with players this week, offered to change its original pay proposal and include male and female state cricketers in its profit share model.
It also offered increased pay rises to those first laid out in March.
The revised offer remains different to the current pay model, which gives as much as 26 per cent of CA revenue to the players, a model the players wish to hold on to.
But it did address a key concern among domestic cricketers who had been separated from their national colleagues in sharing up to $20 million surplus revenue.
The first real movement in six months of stalled talks also seemingly opened the door for a possible temporary arrangement to be reached by next Friday, which the ACA referred to as the "June 30 cliff".
Player feedback suggests that the sharing of international cricket surpluses with male and female domestic players and the level of pay increases for male state players are critical issues for them," CA's head negotiator Kevin Roberts wrote in a letter sent to ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson and all players and player managers.
"CA is prepared to address these issues."
But the message missed its mark and while the ACA did not reject the revised proposal, it refused to address it when queried.
Instead it responded to the fact CA had sent contracts to players for their consideration, contracts no-one expects them to sign until a new MOU is finalised.
Despite declaring the players were "determined to explore every avenue" to avoid the black hole cricket could enter from next weekend, the ACA refused to say whether it would entertain the new proposal.
The union said there was not enough information in the letter sent by Roberts to make any decisions, that the parties remained "far apart" and maintained a request for more financial information from CA.
That claim was rejected by CA which said all available financial information was given to the union on Wednesday.
More meetings next week will now be crucial in finding a solution to avoid cricket falling off that cliff.