The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) today extended its support to the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) and its members. 230 professional cricketers, whom it represents, have been rendered unemployed following the ending of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the players and Cricket Australia (CA) and the failure of CA to negotiate a new agreement with the ACA based on the same partnership principles of the previous MOU.
FICA is concerned with CA’s desire to end the percentage revenue sharing model that has so successfully underpinned the partnership between the players and administrators in Australia for twenty years. The model has not only been hugely successful for Australian cricket but has been a model of best practice adopted by associations in cricket and other sports, worldwide.
FICA is also seriously concerned with CA’s approach to its dealings with the ACA throughout this ongoing process. FICA commends the ACA and the Australian players for their unity and resolve and for their consistent attempts to negotiate with CA in a professional and transparent manner, including their willingness to use independent mediation to reach a resolution.
FICA notes the indications given by CA that it may attempt to restrict now un-contracted players from competing in other cricket events by refusing to grant them a No Objection Certificate (NOC) or threatening them with future playing bans. FICA reiterates its strong opposition to any artificial restrictions that unfairly attempt to prevent players from earning a living and that have not been agreed with players or their representatives. FICA believes that such restrictions would be open to legal challenge in most jurisdictions as a restraint of trade.
The entire FICA Board has offered its support to the ACA and the Australian players.
Vikram Solanki, FICA President said:
“The players are the game. History has shown that where country boards work in genuine partnership with players and their representatives the game thrives and succeeds. Cricket is at a crucial moment in its history, with new and competing markets for players, fans and broadcasters. I believe that boards should be working more collaboratively with players in the current cricket landscape, not pushing them away.”
Tony Irish, FICA Executive Chairman and SACA CEO said:
“FICA and its member associations stand shoulder to shoulder in support of the ACA and the Australian cricketers in their current dispute with their board. As an important stakeholder in the game, players and their associations deserve to be treated with professionalism and respect. It is in the interests of everyone in the world game that the situation in Australia is resolved quickly and in a manner that is acceptable to the players collectively.”
Lisa Sthalekar, FICA Independent Board Member and ACA Executive Member said:
“It has been heartening to see the unity shown from the male and female players across Australia at a time when they have come under immense pressure. I know there is a lot of support around the world for the principled stance they are taking to maintain a genuine partnership for all players, not just a few.”
Graeme Smith, FICA Independent Board Member said:
“I was part of a revenue share partnership model for many years as a player and this was a critical factor in fostering the relationship between Board and players. In the current cricket environment where players have other options I don’t understand why a board would want to change a partnership that has proved to be successful.”