Cricket: Lehmann doubts Ashes boycott will happen

By AAP

Darren Lehmann, Australia coach. Photo / Paul Taylor
Darren Lehmann, Australia coach. Photo / Paul Taylor

Darren Lehmann is confident cricket's pay dispute won't lead to a player boycott of the Ashes but the Australian coach has urged both sides to find a resolution.

A former president of the Australian Cricketers' Association, Lehmann admitted the tense stand-off over a new memorandum of understanding would prove a distraction at next month's ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

But he said he was sure the situation would not worsen to the point where Australian players would go on strike for the Ashes, as flagged by David Warner.

"No, I wouldn't think so," Lehmann said yesterday in Brisbane. "And I'd hope not as a fan. I'm sure that won't happen."

Warner said earlier this week players were refusing to back down from their demand that Cricket Australia keep the current revenue-sharing pay arrangement and cautioned they might walk out on the Ashes if relations between the two parties strained further.

With Cricket Australia threatening to not pay players when current contracts expire on June 30, the ACA has set up a support fund for domestic and female cricketers who may be facing financial hardship.

It follows the governing body's refusal on Wednesday to enter mediation with the ACA.

"We are genuinely committed to getting a deal done before June 30 ... [but] it looks as though this impasse may continue for some time yet," ACA player liaison manager Simon Katich said.

"Whatever can be done to ease some of the pressure on the players is welcome."

All contracts for female and international male cricketers expire on June 30, as do those of half of the domestic male players.

Lehmann said he would address the matter once the entire squad for the Champions Trophy had got together.

"You have to do that. You have to keep it open and communication so we know what direction everyone's going," he said.

"There's no panic, it's just about the two parties getting together."

He said he had been in constant contact with skipper Steve Smith, who will be one of the last players to join the Champions Trophy squad after he guided Rising Pune Supergiant to the Indian Premier League final on Monday.

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