Vice-captain David Warner has plunged this winter’s Ashes series into doubt by warning Australia’s cricket bosses that the nation’s top players will not buckle in their dispute over pay.
A stand-off between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has intensified after the governing body threatened not to pay players after 30 June unless they accept a proposed overhaul of their remuneration.
Cricket Australia are seeking to place male and female players on a fixed salary, meaning they would no longer receive a percentage of the board’s revenue. The ACA, which represents the players, has rejected the deal.
“If it gets to the extreme they might not have a team for the Ashes,” said Warner, who has played 64 Tests for Australia. “I really hope they can come to an agreement.
“We don’t really want to see this panning out where we don’t have a team and we don’t have cricket in the Australian summer.
“We won’t buckle at all, we are standing together and very strong. As you can see from all the people that have spoken so far, we are all on the same wavelength. We want a fair share and the revenue-sharing model is what we want, so we are going to stick together until we get that.”
If there is no resolution, there is uncertainty over the team Australia could field after 30 June. Australia, currently ranked No3 in the world Test rankings, play a two-match red-ball series in Bangladesh in August.
The Ashes, which are currently held by England after their 2015 triumph, are set to begin on 23 November with a showdown in Brisbane before clashes in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.