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Pay dispute will distract Australia at Champions Trophy: Lehmann

News Agencies | Updated on: 18 May 2017, 12:55 IST

Australia's head coach Darren Lehmann has admitted that the ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) would prove to be a distraction for the team during the Champions Trophy, beginning June 1 in England and Wales.

"It is going to be a bit of a distraction, there's no doubt about that," ESPNcricinfo quoted Lehmann as saying.

"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 outcome right for the game," he added.

The former left-handed batsman further said he would address the matter once the entire squad for the Champions Trophy had got together.

"We'll talk about it when we all meet. You have to do that, you've got to keep it open in communication so we know the direction everyone's going. At the end of the day it's about getting ready for that first game and playing well," he said.

"The next three years we go to England for one dayers the following year and then we've got the World Cup, so it's a pretty important tournament for us in many ways," he added.

Lehmann, a former ACA president, however, exuded confidence that pay dispute won't lead to a player boycott of the Ashes.

"I wouldn't think so, and I would hope not as a fan," he said.

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

The Australian head coach further has discussed matters at length with the national captain Steven Smith during his IPL stint, and has also insisted that he would open the floor to players to discuss matters together when they convene in England, for the start of a campaign that leads ultimately to the 2019 World Cup and Ashes double.

Lehmann's comments come a day after Cricket Australia (CA) rejected ACA's request for mediation in pay talks between the two parties, reiterating the board's insistence that talks resume with its formal pay offer as the starting point.

In March, CA made an offer, proposing that the average pay of Australia's international women's players would rise from $A79,000 to $A179,000, while the average remuneration of state cricketers would more than double to $A52,000.

Under CA's proposal, only male international players would have the chance to share in any surplus revenue, while other domestic male players and women at both domestic and international level would have to settle for fixed amounts which would not fluctuate according to the game's income.

However, the ACA pointed out a series of concerns with the proposal, saying that it "disrespects the value of domestic cricketers and the role they play in Australian cricket".


First published: 18 May 2017, 11:44 IST