Pat Cummins Trains in Isolation
Pat Cummins Trains in Isolation

Revitalised star pressing but top spot to stay unchanged

Justin Langer rang Australia's male players on Wednesday night to let them know who had made the contract list and who had missed out.


David Warner, on the back of winning the AB Medal, will be high up the list but he is unlikely to bump Pat Cummins off as the highest paid cricketer in Australia amid confusion over how much money they will be paid.


Warner has never had top spot but could argue that the award was confirmation he is the best cricketer across all three formats.


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Pat Cummins is Australia’s no.1. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright
Pat Cummins is Australia’s no.1. Picture: AAP/Richard Wainwright

Sources suggested, however, that Cummins held on to the first spot and that there may be up to 10 changes to last year's list.


Players will have to wait sometime longer to find out how much money they stand to lose should the pandemic impact the summer.


If revenues are down 50 per cent that is $58 million the international and domestic cricketers will have deducted from their pay pool. Under the pay-share model players receive 27.5 per cent of certain revenue streams from Cricket Australia.


A copy of the MOU between players and Cricket Australia obtained by News Corp Australia contains a force majeure clause which, surprisingly, includes the impact of an epidemic.


The sub clauses include "fires, storm, flood, earthquake, explosion, war, invasion, revelation or other hostilities, epidemic, regulations or actors of government", "refusal or failure of the authority controlling cricket in any country to provide a touring team" and "the insolvency of or termination of any agreement with, any CA Major Broadcast Partner".

AB Medal winner David Warner.
AB Medal winner David Warner.

The clauses are relevant as cricket is concerned about the financial state of its broadcast partners, India's ability to tour and government regulations surrounding sport across the next 12 months.


The force majeure can be invoked at any time, but cricket is keen to tighten its belt ahead of events. Cricket Australia has already stood down around 200 staff on 20 per cent pay and is pushing states to take a 25 per cent cut to grants for which they are entitled in 2020-21.


Like the state associations, the players have been made to wait for a comprehensive financial breakdown on Cricket Australia's projected losses for ­2020-21.


Cummins was the highest ranked player last year with Nathan Lyon second, Steve Smith and Warner next in the rankings.


Lyon will fall back as he has slipped out of the ODI and T20 squads while Marnus Labuschagne will come crashing into the top 10. The emerging star was not considered among the top 20 players this time last year and was not offered a contract.


Usman Khawaja's fall from grace could reflect his fellow Queenslander's rise while Mitchell Starc should rank high because of his value in all formats.


Former captain Steve Smith.
Former captain Steve Smith.


Mitchell Starc. Picture: Luke Walker/Getty
Mitchell Starc. Picture: Luke Walker/Getty

Cricket Australia can hand out between 17 and 20 men's contracts and 13 to 15 for women, but the expectation is they will aim for the maximum number in both cases.


Players are automatically upgraded on to the contract list from a state contract once they play a set number of games for the national side.


Labuschagne achieved the required number of points for an upgrade after being picked as a concussion substitute for Smith at Lord's in last year's Ashes.


The detail of the offers is yet to be pencilled in but News Corp Australia has obtained figures that show how much revenue increased since the MOU was signed in 2017.


Australian cricket revenue, which the players receive a 27.5 per cent share, rose from a projected $323m for 2020-21 to $407m after the broadcast deal was signed and then pencilled in as $461m recently as the game went from success to success.

Originally published as Revitalised star pressing but top spot to stay unchanged

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