ACA calls off Australia A's South Africa tour amid pay dispute


Players have withdrawn from Australia A's tour of South Africa as the ongoing and bitter pay dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) continued.

The ACA announced the decision to call off the tour - which was due to get underway on July 12 - on Thursday after no progress regarding a new pay deal was made between the two parties.

Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head were all set to feature in a bid to stake their Test claims for Ashes selection in November but the players and the ACA have shown a united front following the expiry of the Memorandum of Understanding on June 30, which left more than 200 Australian cricketers unemployed.

Negotiations over a new pay deal have been fruitless as the ACA stands firm on its request for a revenue sharing model which would give it a greater say in the game's future, though CA has refused to adhere to the demands, with August's tour of Bangladesh and the Ashes series now in further doubt.

A statement from the ACA read: "It is with great frustration that with no progress towards resolving the current dispute, Australia A players confirm they will not tour South Africa.

"This decision is made in support of more than 200 male and female players who are now unemployed, and is consistent with Sunday's ACA Executive meeting resolutions.

"By making this call, the Australia A players have sacrificed their own ambitions for the collective; an incredibly selfless act that shows their strength and overall commitment to the group.

"All players are deeply disappointed at the behaviour of CA which forces this course of action, given the players would rather be playing for their country.

"CA refuse to attend mediation or offer any genuine flexibility in the MOU negotiations.

"And without mediation it's hard to see how there can be the progress necessary to reach agreement.

"The players want to make sure all men and women who play the game are treated fairly, and that grassroots funding is not drained by a top-heavy bureaucracy.

"The ACA again calls on common sense to prevail and for the CA CEO to attend mediation. The ACA sits at the table awaiting CA's genuine participation."

The ACA said "unless contractually obliged, no male or female players intend to play for a Cricket Australia [CA] team whilst fellow players remain unemployed due to the absence of an MOU".