Slater-Cowan spat exemplifies torn Australia over pay dispute

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Former Australia batsmen Michael Slater and Ed Cowan became involved in a heated debated surrounding the ongoing pay row which has left the nation's cricket in crisis.

For months, Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) have been locked in fruitless negotiations about a new pay deal.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties expired on June 30 and, without an agreement reached, Australia's top players are effectively unemployed.

CA expressed its disappointment at the ACA's decision to reject the board's latest offer, with the players' union standing firm on its request for a revenue sharing model which would give them a greater say in the game's future.

The breakdown in relationship has cast doubt over Australia's tour to Bangladesh in August, as well as the home Ashes series against England, which is scheduled to begin in late November.

Much like the two bodies, the country has been torn over the row, evidenced by Slater and ACA representative Cowan's disagreement on Sky Sports Radio's Big Sports Breakfast show, although the discussion eventually ended on good terms.

"What is this partnership rubbish?" asked Slater. "What does that mean? You're telling me this whole fight is not over money?"

"Let me finish. Let me finish," replied Cowan. "Otherwise it's not a fair conversation. I think your view is seriously impeded by your job at Channel Nine."

That accusation was hotly contested by Slater.

"I'm an ex-cricketer who got paid to play the game and I never walked out there thinking about whether I was a partner," said Slater, who played 74 Tests between 1993 and 2001.

"Because I felt like I was a partner and it didn't matter how my pay was paid. It has zero to do with my employment."