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Smith plays down Ashes strike

Australia captain Steve Smith has played down a tense stand-off in pay negotiations between the players’ union and the national cricket board, saying his team is highly motivated to cut a deal and play the Ashes against England.

Smith plays down Ashes strike
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Steve Smith plays down Ashes strike

London

The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) rejected an offer by Cricket Australia (CA) which waters down a revenue-share arrangement that the players have enjoyed for 20 years. 

CA has dug in its heels, saying players would not be offered alternative contracts if they failed to agree to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, with the old one set to expire on June 30. 

Smith said players were supportive of the ACA, who were “working really hard with CA to get a deal right”, but he backed away from opening batsman David Warner’s remark that Australia might not have a team for the Ashes starting in November. “I saw the comments. Of course, we want to play in the Ashes, and of course we want everything to go well there,” Smith said ahead of the Champions Trophy. “It’s just about making sure the guys finalise a deal and get the MOU (memorandum of understanding) sorted and everything will be fine. 

“There’s certainly nothing from us where we don’t want to play, we certainly want to be playing in the Ashes so, hopefully, they’ll get things resolved soon,” said the Australian captain.

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