Nine confident cricket pay dispute will be fixed in time for The Ashes

Nine’s cricket commentators and head of sales of sport are confident the pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association will be fixed, sooner rather than later.

Speaking at the Nine’s Wide World of Sports lunch ahead of this year’s Ashes series, Michael Slater, Ian Healy, Michael Clarke, Ian Chappell, and William (Bill) Lawry addressed the “elephant in the room”, assuring advertisers it would be resolved.

(L-R) Healy, Clarke, Chappell and Lawry with Slater, presenting at Nine’s Wide World of Sports lunch yesterday.

Healy was confident it would be fixed, arguing it was a moral rather than monetary dispute.

“The players are really pissed off they haven’t been shown enough respect. They haven’t been given sufficient detail to make sound decisions in the five years moving forwards.

“They’ve been given this offer on the table, which is more – and it’s $100m more than the last five years – but they’ve had no negotiations. So there it is, they’re a bit suspicious.

“They need to show some strategy. Get in the room and show some strategy and work your enemy around, if it is an enemy.”

Clarke said he would prefer the negotiations were conducted in private, instead of being splashed across newspaper front pages, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) should just be extended for 12 months in the interests of the game.

“I hate the fact that I’ve just arrived back from London and I’m reading it – it’s front page news. I think about the Women’s World Cup going on now in England and the Aussie women are on fire. They can’t get a run in the paper because this has taken up the front pages,” said Clarke.

“What I’d like to see happen is extend the current MOU for 12 months, that allows the players to concentrate on just playing the game of cricket.”

For Chappell, the current situation is “ridiculous”.

“It’s got to be a partnership and I think it has been a partnership in the past with the MOUs but this time I get the distinct impression that they are trying to split the players’ association.”

When Nine’s Sam Brennan, director of sales – sports, was asked whether he had any concerns for audience numbers ahead of the Ashes season, he said by the time the competition rolled around, it would be business as usual for the network.

“Not really no. At the end of the day it’s going to get resolved and as quickly as we can possibly get it resolved so for us it’s business as usual and that’s the easiest and best way to look at it for us. It’s the only way we are seeing this.

“We are so confident that it will get worked out between the two parties and it’s business as usual for us.”

Nine’s Wide World of Sports will broadcast five test matches, five one-day internationals, three Twenty20s, and six Women’s Ashes matches.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.