Michael Clarke’s suggestion that can bring Australian cricketers back on field
Former captain Michael Clarke has chipped in with a solution which could bring Australian cricketers back into employment.Updated: Jul 04, 2017 15:13 IST
Former Australia captain turned commentator, Michael Clarke has advised Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) to carry on with the present Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the next 12 months, ensuring more than 200 cricketers return to the sport and employment.
As many as 230 cricketers (men and women) from Australia were rendered unemployed when talks over months between the cricket governing body in the country and the body that represents these sportsmen, failed to reach an agreement, with the deadline being June 30.
The ACA and its many cricketers (both men and women) had met in Sydney last Sunday, and it was revealed that no cricketer will be taking part in any of the upcoming tours until the MoU is in place. The first impact can be seen on Australia A’s tour of South Africa, which was set to begin July 12.
Australia are set to tour Bangladesh for a Test series, followed by a limited-overs series in India. The Ashes 2017-18 begins November 23 at The Gabba, Brisbane, and there are fears the biggest cricketing affair of the season may be impacted as well.
Clarke, who retired close to two years ago from all formats, has proposed a solution which can at least put some respite in place.
Clarke was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au, “I think what needs to happen is keep the current MOU for the next 12 months, and allow the players to get back to what (they) do best – train, prepare, get ready for some important cricket.”
“Cricket Australia, the ACA please go behind closed doors and sort this in private. The two MOUs that I was around for, both of them weren’t done by June 30, they both got extended so I don’t see any difference here,” he added.
“Just keep the same MOU for the next 12 months to allow negotiations to, let’s say the word continue, but sort negotiations out. The players want to play, they want to play for their country, there’s no doubt about it. Let’s allow them to play while this stuff gets sorted out in the background. I hate the fact that I’ve arrived back from England and this is taking media coverage over … the women on fire over in England at the World Cup,” he added.
Clarke lamented the fact that the media coverage of payment row is dominating headlies, and not the reports from England where the Australian Women’s team is dominating.
“They’re not even getting a look-in in the media because the MoU is taking up those pages. I think it’s shit for the game,” said Clarke.
A few members of the Australian touring party for South Africa — including the non-contracted players — began training on Tuesday.
Coach Jason Gillespie said he is hopeful that the tour will take place eventually. “In an ideal world, I think players would love to play cricket. Everyone wants to represent their country. The players have shown their good faith in coming up here to train as if we’re going on the tour.”
Clarke has meanwhile suggested that players are likely to have it their way.
“I feel that (the players having a say) will be the case no matter which way it goes. The international players, men and women, are the face of our game. They need to be looked after. Young boys and girls grow up watching their idols on television and that’s why you want to play for Australia. So the players definitely need to be looked after, but in the same breath what I’ve always believed in is that … every boy and girl in this country has the chance to play what I believe is the greatest game in the world.”