Melbourne: Australian cricket is facing the prospect of losing several top players to the lucrative UAE Twenty20 league in January next years and there are reports 15 of them have been offered "contracts worth up to AUD700,000 a year to abandon the Big Bash League (BBL)".
The report in Sydney Morning Herald quoting senior cricket sources, said, Cricket Australia (CA) not just faces the prospect of losing batting stalwart David Warner to the UAE T20 league, but the "scale of the attempted raid on Australian players" is unprecedented.
The report added that CA and Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) might have to come out with a plan to reassure the players they are "not being left behind the rest of the world by remaining loyal to the game in this country".
It added that Chris Lynn, whose contract with Brisbane Heat was not renewed recently, is keep to sign up for the UAE league, even as he weighs a deal with Adelaide Strikers, though signing up a deal with the BBL deal would make it "contractually difficult for Lynn to also play in the UAE".
While CA is also trying to convince Warner to play in the BBL this summer, the report added that the sport's governing body chief executive Nick Hockley and ACA head Todd Greenberg are getting "countless calls" from players.
Greenberg has reportedly been trying to convince the players about the need to take part in the BBL, "in some cases on inferior money to the market rates being offered elsewhere", the report added.
"I've been really heartened by the maturity of the players in response, because after a discussion and communication and a bit more context, they're not just thinking about the short-term," said Greenberg.
"They do have this genuine sense of care about the game -- if they didn't, they would be mercenaries and take what's in front of them. But they're not, they're actually taking a mature, considered approach to this and trying to be part of the solution. This comes down to establishing trust with your own players and the relationships you develop with them.
"Sometimes when you work closely with players, you've got to tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. We're not in the business of being sycophants -- occasionally you need to square them up, talk to them as adults, and give them proper information and let them make some informed decisions with a long-term focus," he added.
"I do know CA have to stay within the salary cap principles for any player and that includes Dave (Warner)," Greenberg said. "But clearly they've got to try to make the best offer they can to keep him here. It's a balance of trying to make sure you're attracting your best players and there's some equity in the system and the model, so that all of them have the opportunity to play and are remunerated accordingly.
"This is an issue that's not going away, which is why we've got to work together and grow the revenue for the sport, so we can be competitive."