Australia coach Darren Lehmann dismisses fears Ashes could be threatened by players' pay dispute

Joe Hall
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Darren Lehmann Australia
Lehmann: Pay dispute could be a distraction for Champions Trophy (Source: Getty)

Australia cricket coach Darren Lehmann has dismissed fears that a dispute over players' pay could prevent this year's Ashes series from going ahead — but admits it could be a distraction at the ICC Champions Trophy.

Vice-captain David Warner warned earlier this week that a stand-off between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) over the former's proposed remuneration reforms could leave the Baggy Green without a team for the Ashes in November.

The ACA are currently grappling with the CA over a revenue sharing scheme which the latter wants to scrap in favour of higher base salaries for players.

Lehmann, a CA employee, said all parties in the dispute ultimately want to do what's best for the sport and would be able to find a solution in time for November.

Read more: Chris Tremlett column - Australia players right to dig in their heels in bid for fairer pay

"I wouldn't think so," he said when asked if the Ashes could be cancelled. "And I would hope not as a fan. I'm sure that won't happen.

"What I want to do is see both parties come to the table and get a deal done for the betterment of the game. From a player's point of view they're just sticking together. We support players and support CA. Everyone supports each other."

Yet the 47-year-old did concede that the issue could play on the minds of players at of the ICC Champions Trophy, which begins in England next month.

The one-day international tournament is the last competition to take place before the ACA's current deal with CA expires, after which CA have pledged not continue paying players until an agreement has been reached.

"It's going to be a bit of a distraction there's no doubt about that," said Lehmann.

"But at the end of the day we're there to concentrate on the cricket, we've got to do the best job we possibly can so from my point of view they've just got to get talking, simple fact of life. They're both adults, both will deal with it as best they can and get the right outcome for the game."

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