Pay dispute could threaten Ashes series


The good news is that Cricket Australia and the players' body, the Australian Cricketers' Association, are talking again.

Lehmann conceded the players' full focus wasn't on the Champions Trophy in England and Wales, but said he was confident there would be no Ashes disruption.

The ACA on Friday had moved to enter mediation with CA over the matter.

"Both sides I'm sure will get there", Lehmann said today.

"It always traditionally stays quite late in the negotiations".

"Most of all, he stressed the importance of the two parties re-opening effective, respectful communication to get a deal done", he added.

"I think the cricketing community would be questioning their desire to get a deal done".

Even if there is no progress this financial year, both parties have the option of agreeing to short-term extensions.

"Once they do that, they'll get a deal done and everyone can move forward".

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc hinted at a players' strike for the upcoming Ashes, the lucrative five-test series against England which starts in November.

"No, I wouldn't think so", Lehmann said on Thursday in Brisbane. "I'm sure that won't happen".

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CA made an offer in March, which it spruiked heavily as a win for the game's leading female players, who would receive a record pay rise.

"What I find really hard to understand is the approach from Cricket Australia towards the players, where they're dumping offers and proposals in the public domain and not actually getting around a table and working with the players and their representatives to find a solution", Mills said.

"It is going to be a bit of a distraction, there's no doubt about that". There is a vital tournament to play but Lehmann knows the issues in the boardroom will permeate much of the the atmosphere.

The Australian coach finds himself in a unique position during the pay dispute, having both the ear of the players and his employer, CA.

The ACA is equally resolved to keep revenue-sharing, saying the system is not broken and does not need fixing.

CA is proposing a modified revenue sharing model whereby men's and women's global players share in up to $20 million of financial surpluses generated from worldwide cricket, while domestic men and women's players receive capped pay increases of 18 per cent and 150 per cent respectively.

But in a response on Wednesday, Cricket Australia chairman David Peever described the union's request as "extraordinary" and called on players to participate in negotiations before seeking the intercession of a mediator.

While pointing out that negotiations have often run close to the wire in the past, Lehmann admitted he had not seen such acrimony between the two parties since the 1997-98 dispute that ultimately led to the revenue-sharing arrangement that has existed over the past 20 years.

"I'm not going to go too much into that to be perfectly honest".

CA said the average wage for worldwide women's players would increase from A$79,000 to A$179,000.