Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes the Australian pay dispute hanging over the Ashes could be the first of many to affect the international game.
Cricket Australia are seeking to replace the existing revenue-sharing model with new contracts as part of a wider restructure of remuneration throughout the game – a move that has left senior players unimpressed.
Vice-captain David Warner even went as far as telling The Age newspaper CA “might not have a team for the Ashes”.
The lucrative Twenty20 offers that would exist for Australia’s top players should they not pen new central deals mean their bargaining power is stronger than ever and Vaughan predicts similar situations could soon arise with other boards.
“It’s great for England to see Australia falling out and fighting with each other but in terms of the game as a whole it’s not a great story,” he said on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show.
“I’ve never seen it to this level. It’s sad for the game when you’re hearing this but I don’t think it will be the last case of players getting together as groups. There’s so much money coming through TV deals, I think players will say ‘we fancy a piece of that’.
“International boards have got to put their hands in their pockets to save international cricket. In our day international cricket was the sole money-maker for the game but the Twenty20 leagues are catching up.”
From an English perspective, Vaughan believes the biggest sticking point could be the Indian Premier League.
The likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes have been allowed to skip early season duties in England to extend their IPL stays this term but international commitments could impact their availability in future editions.
“It will be very difficult for players who’ve only got a short time playing if they can’t go to the IPL,” said Vaughan.
“England have to manage it well and they may have to open up windows and doors for the likes of Stokes to play IPL.
“Next year Ben Stokes will be the player every single franchise will try to get.”
Dale Steyn’s quest to become South Africa’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker has been put back until at least September after he ruled himself out of a Test series in England during July and August.
Steyn, who turns 34 on June 27, has been stuck on 417 Test wickets – four short of Shaun Pollock’s national record – since suffering a stress fracture of the shoulder during a Test against Australia last November.
The fast bowler had been included in a South Africa A squad to tour England in June in what was seen as a fitness test ahead of the four-match Test series.
But he told journalists in Johannesburg that his recovery has been slower than he hoped and will not be able to join the A team or to play in the Tests.
“I am able to do a lot of things — running, hiking, gym work. But bowling is not one of them,” he said.
Steyn said he aims to play in two home Tests against Bangladesh in September and hopes to prove his fitness by returning to action when South Africa A play matches against Australia A and India A in August.
It has been a frustrating two years for Steyn, who has only played in five of South Africa’s most recent 16 Tests, breaking down in three of them, first with a groin strain and twice because of shoulder problems.
During that period he has taken only 15 wickets after looking set to soar past Pollock on the all-time list.
Vernon Philander, Steyn’s long-time new ball partner, has also had injury problems.
He has a contract with English county Sussex, but returned to South Africa last month for treatment on a groin injury.
But the county expect him to return to action in a championship match against Durham starting Sunday.
India’s opening pair Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut set a world record for the highest opening partnership in one-day international matches across women’s and men’s cricket on Monday.
Opening the batting for India in their match against Ireland in Potchefstroom, Deepti and Raut managed to put on 320 runs for the first wicket – which is also a record partnership for any wicket in women’s ODIs.
Off the back of the brilliant opening stand, India ended with 358-2 in their 50 overs, which is the highest total ever posted by the Indian women’s team in a 50-over innings.
Wow! Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut put on 320 for the 1st wicket against Ireland. Super show and wish you many more! #IndianWomen'sCricket— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 15, 2017
Deepti dominated the partnership as she scored 188 from just 160 deliveries in a knock which included 27 fours and two sixes. The teenager’s score of 188 is, in fact, the second highest individual score in an innings in a women’s ODI.
That feat is only bettered by Australia’s Belinda Clark, who hit an unbeaten 229 against Denmark in 1997.
On the other hand, Raut hit 11 boundaries before she retired hurt after scoring 109 from 116 deliveries.
India would go on to win the match by 249 runs to register their fourth successive victory in the Women’s Quadrangular Series that also includes South Africa and Zimbabwe.