English Cricket could face 'breaking point' over players' pay warns spinner Batty

England spinner fears challenging times for the domestic game in England.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
16th May 2017

article:16th May 2017

Difficult times for cricket.
Difficult times for cricket.

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 …”