England spinner Gareth Batty warns there may soon be a “breaking point” in this country, as in Australia, over players’ pay structures.
A dispute down under has escalated to the point that Australia vice-captain David Warner is suggesting next winter’s Ashes series could be in danger.
Strike action appears to be a possible next step if Cricket Australia cannot agree an updated payment policy which is acceptable to all parties before a deadline at the end of next month.
Surrey captain Batty does not envisage a stand-off of that magnitude in England, but does believe the advent of a new high-profile Twenty20 tournament for eight city-based teams in 2020 may help to raise the stakes.
Asked about the developing situation in Australia on talkSPORT2, the veteran off-spinner said: “I think we could have a problem in this country as well with the new franchise [Twenty20 competition] and all the money from the TV deals.
“It’s fundamentally the same thing that will happen here, I’m pretty sure of that.
“There are already a lot of murmurs around the professional game.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board hopes to receive significant extra revenue from prospective broadcast deals from its new tournament, and Batty advises players will be well aware of the extra funds available.
He added: “Potentially the players are seen as the prize – that’s who the people pay to go and watch – and yet the ECB want to have their cake and eat it.
“I think we could have a very real problem, as Australia are having now.
“The world is changing quickly in cricket, because of Twenty20, because of the IPL [Indian Premier League], because of the volume of money …
“There are breaking points, and Australia have obviously hit their breaking point. I don’t think we’re too far off our breaking point …”
Led by ODI captain Eoin Morgan, England will train once again at the Desert Springs resort in Almeria in southern Spain.
England used the venue for a team-building trip back in May 2015 – with it being the first act of then new coach Trevor Bayliss.
The experience of warm weather training away from the UK worked wonders for the Three Lions two years ago as they went onto claim a 3-2 Ashes victory over Australia later that summer.
It is expected that slip and ground fielding will be the dominant focus for England on Spanish shores as they gear up to face South Africa in three one-day international clashes later this month before their ICC Champions Trophy opener against Bangladesh on Thursday June 1.
2017 is shaping up to be England’s busiest domestic summer ever with seven Tests, 10 ODIs and four T20s against South Africa and West Indies combined, as well as the Champions Trophy.
The picture in the tweet below was taken in 2015.
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.”