ACA unveils fund for 'vulnerable' women, domestic players
ESPNCricInfo - Thursday 18th May, 2017
Australia's players are preparing for a long, cold and out-of-contract winter, with the Australian Cricketers' Association unveiling plans for a contingency fund to help female and domestic players avoid financial difficulty in the event of the stalled MOU talks with Cricket Australia (CA) not progressing before the June 30 deadline.
On the day Australia's squad for the Women's World Cup was unveiled with an acknowledgement by CA that the team will be paid in advance for a tournament that will conclude after that date, the players union outlined plans to aid around 200 players who will be out of contract if an agreement is not reached in time.
Clea Smith, the ACA's past players, development and personal development manager, said the plan was designed to protect the most vulnerable players. "The playing group is unified. All male, female, international and domestic players are standing together because they believe in what their position represents," she said.
"The players' position is about preserving the Revenue Sharing Model as well as understanding a need for increases in grassroots cricket. Female and domestic players are the most vulnerable once locked-out by Cricket Australia after June 30, so the [fund] will provide some financial security until a new MOU is resolved."
The Women and Men Cricketers' Assistance Plan will allow players in need to apply for financial help as and when required in the second half of 2017. International male players, whose rich salaries have been highlighted during the dispute, are not eligible for access to the fund. The fund is a response to CA's threat, delivered by the chief executive Jame Sutherland last week, that the board was not considering any alternative contract plans beyond the MOU expiry.
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