The International League (ILT20) in the United Arab Emirates have reportedly offered 15 top Australian players a whopping AUD 700,000 contract to drop out of the Big Bash League (BBL), whose dates overlap, causing considerable tension within the ranks of Cricket Australia (THAT).
The Big Bash League will be played from December 13 to February 4 while the inaugural edition of the ILT20 is scheduled for January 6 to February 12, making it virtually impossible for Australian players to participate in both tournaments.
According to a report from the Sydney Morning Herald, “up to 15 Australian players have been offered contracts worth up to AUD 700,000 a year to drop out of the Big Bash League and take part in the UAE Twenty20 tournament in January.”
Most of Australia’s top players are under no obligation to play BBL under their existing central contract, with Warner not having played a single edition since 2014.
The highest BBL payout so far since the draft was D’arcy Short’s $258,000 (AUD$370,000) and cash over what was paid to marquee Australian players in the IPL, was significantly lower.
But with India’s IPL owners investing in the UAE and CSA T20 leagues, the BBL will need to revamp its compensation structure to keep the best in the business interested.
According to Australian newspapers ‘The Age’ and ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ by senior cricketing sources, “the scale of the attempted raid on Australian players goes far beyond the threat of losing player David Warner in the UAE because it does not have a BBL Agreement.”
The newspaper also revealed: “The size of the UAE contracts so far beyond what has been offered in the BBL has put Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association under pressure to reassure players that they are not not left out of the rest of the world by staying true to the game in this country.”
However, it is learned that CA, in its attempt to retain the shine and quality of BBL, is keen to sign a lucrative one-time deal with Warner, which will prevent it from accepting the ILT20 offer.
“While CA is in talks with Warner to find a way to bring him back to the BBL this summer, governing body chief executive Nick Hockley and his players union counterpart Todd Greenberg have fielded countless calls from players regarding offers,” SMH added. reported.
Greenberg believes the Australian players are not “mercenaries” and would eventually make an informed and mature decision.
“They have this real concern for the game if they didn’t they would be mercenaries and take what’s in front of them.
“But they don’t, they actually take a mature, thoughtful approach to it and try to be part of the solution. It comes down to building trust with your own players and the relationships you develop with them,” said said Greenberg.
But he didn’t forget to mention that CA needs to do something about the salary cap.
“I know CA has to follow the salary cap principles for all players and that includes Dave (warner),” Greenberg said.
“But clearly they have to try to make the best possible offer to keep him here. It’s a balance between trying to make sure you get your best players and that there’s some fairness in the system. and the model, so that all of them have the opportunity to play and are compensated accordingly.
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