Australian Cricket chief steps in but too late to save tour

The bitter pay dispute in Australian cricket has intensified as ith the Australia A tour of South Africa officially cancelled on Thursday morning.

The Tour was due to start on 12 July but players have not agreed on a deal with governing body Cricket Australia (CA).

The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) said it was “deeply disappointed” at Cricket Australia’s behaviour, while the administrators called for the players to show more “flexibility”.

Players had given CA a Friday deadline but that was brought forward by 24 hours at the governing body’s request for logistical reasons.

“CA regrets that players have made this decision despite progress made in talks between CA and the ACA in meetings over the past week,” Cricket Australia said. “These … included ­regular communication between CEOs.

The ACA released a statement confirming an earlier resolution passed at a meeting of the ACA executive last weekend that players would not agree to tour unless an MOU “on fair terms” was in place, and while any out-of-contract players thus remained unemployed.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has been forced to intervene for the first time in the pay dispute ripping the game apart, but his decision came too late to save the Australia A tour to South Africa.