Melbourne, Feb.7 : Top cricketers in Australia are reportedly demanding a bigger slice of Cricket Australia's (CA) monetary pie in view of the team's performance over the last few years.
Discussions on the new memorandum of understanding between CA and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) will begin soon, and both appear to be on a collision course.
Cricket Australia is adamant that the current system of Test and first-class players receiving 25 per cent of all revenue is fair.
At present, the player payment pool - budgeted for just under 33 million dollars this financial year - is split with 55 per cent going to Cricket Australia's 25 contracted players, and 45 per cent to contracted state players.
The minimum base contract, before match payments, for a CA-listed player is now 160,000 dollars a year, with the maximum contract - held by captain Ricky Ponting - worth more than 650,000 dollars.
Match payments are 12,750 dollars per Test and 5,100 dollars per one-day international. For state players, the base contracts range from 40,000 dollars to 110,000 dollars, before match payments. ACA chief executive Paul Marsh said the players would continue to have the best interests of the game at heart but were keen on a pay rise.
"The game is obviously very healthy financially at the moment. Our view at the moment is that 25 per cent is less than what the players contribute to the game, The Australian quoted Marsh, as saying.
CA and the ACA have begun gathering detailed analysis of revenue and expenses ahead of the mid-year talks, which could become as messy and protracted as they were in 2004.
CA operations manager Michael Brown, who handles all contractual matters, said the board had begun to investigate rating a player's value on Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20.
Brown has claimed that CA has no intention of increasing the 25 per cent cut players received, a statement that has annoyed Marsh, who says there is a strong chance the ACA will factor in Twenty20 as a third form of how the player payments should be worked out in the immediate future.