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.”