Australian cricketers set to get pay rise

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Melbourne, June 10 (ANI): Senior Australian cricketers could earn over 1.5 million dollars a year following a new pay deal agreed between Cricket Australia and the players' union.

The pay deal, which increases the wages pool of CA's 25 contracted players by 13.1 per cent each year for two years, came the day Australia was ingloriously ejected from the World Twenty20 tournament in England after a heavy loss to Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge.

Up to six of Australia's elite cricketers will be guaranteed a year's worth of match payments, irrespective of form or injury, under the new deal.

The total wage pool for CA's contracted players will increase by 13.1 per cent in each of the next two financial years to June 2011, lifting the minimum base from 180,000 to 190,000 dollars in the 2009-10 season and to 210,000 dollars in 2010-11.

But there will be little movement for match payments, which will increase only 3.8 per cent in the next two years - to 13,500 dollars for a Test, 5400 dollars for a one-day international and 4050 dollars for a Twenty20 international, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

A significant addition in the new deal, struck yesterday between CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association, is for any player judged to be in the top six of both Australia's Test and limited overs (50-over and Twenty20) teams to be given fixed contracts. This will mean those elite players will not lose any income if they lose their place in the team, at least for that one-year contract period.

ACA boss Paul Marsh said the deal "allows us the best possible chance of retaining the current players in international cricket in a time where there are increasingly viable alternatives throughout the cricketing world". (ANI)

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