Aussie cricketers offered with multi-year contracts to forgo IPL

Sydney [Australia], May 11 : In an attempt to lure key Australian players skip the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), Cricket Australia has offered them multi-year contracts for the next three years, a report has claimed.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted a report saying Pat Howard, Cricket Australia's newly re-signed executive general manager of team performance, had individually approached Test skipper Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in recent weeks with verbal offers of three-year deals rather than standard one-year central contracts on the condition that they skip the IPL.

This approach from Howard comes at a time when Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) are in dispute over a new pay deal for the players.

It is learnt that the offers were met with a lukewarm response from all the players approached. The terms of the three-year-deals, discussed informally with Howard, were regarded by the players as underwhelming, with the only perceived incentive for them missing the IPL being the security of a three-year contract as compared to a one-year-central contract.

If the governing body had to change the minds of the top-brass players, it would have to come out with a big incentive as players like Smith and Warner, who captain their IPL franchises, collect more than USD 1 million a year for the T20 tournament.

The earning capacity of these two players is set to rise sharply with a new IPL broadcast deal tipped to see the event's player payment pool double.

It is believed that Warner, whose retainer with CA is estimated to be worth USD 2, could earn as much as USD 10 million in the lucrative Indian T20 tournament alone over the next three years.

Australian pace spearhead Starc, who left Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) before the start of this edition of IPL in his bid to focus on the Champions Trophy beginning June 1 in England, could also command upwards of USD 3 million a year from a new team under an inflated payment pool.

However, as per ESPNcricinfo, the left-arm pacer has confirmed that the top Australian players are not prepared to contemplate to the offer until a new pay deal is struck between the board and the Australian Cricketers' Association.

Starc, who is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from a foot fracture, when asked whether he had been offered a multi-year deal, said "that's what it says in the papers" before stating that he was uninterested in further talks until current pay talks are settled.

"It wasn't in the discussions this year when I decided to pull out [of the IPL], going forward it's between the ACA and CA to come up with an MOU first and foremost, and then we'll talk about contracts once that's done," Starc said.

"That's what the ACA are there for and we've got full confidence in them. We have discussions with them from time to time with different stages of the discussions between CA and the ACA.

But the ACA definitely have the full support of the male and female groups and that's where it stands at this stage," he added.

Source: ANI