David Warner says Steve Smith ‘could probably push more’ as cricket pay dispute intensifies – The Sydney Morning Herald

David Warner says he is happy to be the public frontman for Australian cricketers in their fight to retain a fixed percentage of revenue, but concedes captain Steve Smith could “probably push a little bit more” when it comes to stating the players’ case.

As the June 30 deadline for a new memorandum of understanding between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association draws closer, Warner again insisted that the players won’t budge on their demands.

The vice-captain has been the most outspoken of Australia’s leading players on the pay matter, flagging the possibility of a players’ boycott during next summer’s Ashes if the players don’t get what they want.

While standing with his colleagues, Smith has taken a less vocal approach, trying to downplay the prospect of industrial action although he did take exception to the argument put by CA that the ACA’s claim to retain revenue-sharing is at the expense of grassroots cricket. 

When Warner was asked whether he would like Smith to be doing more on the pay front, he backed his fellow batsman, while acknowledging that Smith could intensify his campaigning.

“From where I stand and the position I take on this, I try to take as much heat off [Smith] as possible. He does lead us on the field, and rightfully so off the field as well, he does a great job,” Warner told Channel Nine’s Sports Sunday.

“In this circumstance I’m willing to go out there into bat for everyone. Yeah sometimes he could probably push a little bit more, but I think he’s doing a great job, as well as the other players like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood as well.”

With a Test squad for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh named only days ago, Warner was adamant that the players were serious, and that a lockout was possible. “Well from July 1, we’re unemployed”, Warner said.

“We’ve been threatened with that. We’re hopeful there’s going to be an agreement done, it’s a sticky situation.

“From our point of view I want to play for Australia and so do the other boys,” he said. 

“But if there’s nothing that’s put in place for what we’re trying to achieve here, from both point of views, we’re not going to tour Bangladesh, there might not be an Ashes if we don’t have an MOU.”

The explosive left-hander reiterated that the revenue share model was vital to ensure the health of the game, and that domestic and female players needed to be looked after.

“We’re prepared as players to give a little bit more in that revenue share,” he said.

“But that’s what we want. we’re not going to budge from the revenue sharing model, we want equality, and a fair share for domestic and female players.

“That in a nutshell is what it’s all about. We want to make sure the female players and domestic players are in this revenue share model.

“In the decades that have gone past, the past players that have been in our situation have stood up for us. I was a domestic player, I was a young kid coming through, we’re doing the same as what the did as well.”

David Warner says Steve Smith ‘could probably push more’ as cricket pay dispute intensifies – The Sydney Morning Herald

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