Sydney - Vice-captain David Warner has attacked Cricket
Australia's handling of a pay dispute and once again raised the spectre of an
Ashes series boycott by players later this year.
The feisty opener has not backed away from claims he made
last month of a potential players' strike during the showpiece home series
against England, starting in November.
CA has threatened not to pay contracted players beyond the
June 30 expiry of their current financial deal if they do not accept a new
But Warner has gone on the front foot, claiming the
governing body had prosecuted its argument primarily through media briefings.
"If we are unemployed, we have no contracts, we can't
play," he told Fairfax Media Monday in England at the Champions Trophy.
"We are pretty sure that they will come to an
agreement. But, as you know, we are going to be unemployed come July 1. So we
have to wait and see."
Warner said beyond "a couple of emails" CA
management had not engaged with its contracted players.
"It is only what we hear in the media and that's how CA
have been driving it the whole way," he said.
"They have been using the media as a voice and we get
the message from there."
Warner again pledged his "full support" to fellow
players and affirmed he is "100 percent" behind the Australian
Cricketers' Association (ACA).
"They are doing a great job for us," he said of
the players' union's efforts in the dispute.
"From a players' point of view, we are pretty vocal and
Warner added that he remains hopeful a new Memorandum of
Understanding can be struck between now and June 30.
"It is a big thing that we could be unemployed, but
from us, our job is to play cricket, focus on winning the (Champions Trophy)
tournament and not let our country down," he said.
CA is determined to scrap revenue-sharing after 20 years,
saying more funds were needed for the game's grassroots, and that the offer it
has on the table provided handsomely for players.
But the ACA is equally resolved to keep revenue-sharing,
saying the system does not need fixing.
With no end in sight to the impasse, the ACA has disclosed
plans to form a new business to help male and female players directly negotiate
Establishing "The Cricketers' Brand", designed to
manage and commercialise player's intellectual property (IP) rights, was
necessary due to "the uncertainty of all parties regarding IP matters
should the players be unemployed post June 30," it recently said.