Australian cricket faces worst crisis in 40 years as players face the sack

Worst uncertainty since World Series Cricket - ACA stands by 'disappointed and frustrated' players

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) has accused Cricket Australia (CA) of not being "fair dinkum" in its approach to pay negotiations, which show little sign of being resolved.

For months, the two bodies have been at odds over remuneration for the players, with Friday's midnight deadline set to arrive with no solution found.

That effectively leaves the country's top performers unemployed, while Australia's tour of Bangladesh in August has been thrown into doubt, as has the home Ashes series against England, which begins in November.

CA released a statement on Friday declaring its disappointment in the ACA's decision to reject an improved offer last week and the players' association hit back, declaring its concern over leaving the game "in the worst state of uncertainty since the days of World Series Cricket".

"It is also unnecessary given the willingness of players to attend mediation...A request rejected by CA for reasons best known to themselves," continued the statement from the ACA, which also explained the players were "disappointed and frustrated".

"CA's offer to the players in March contained accounting tricks, including using the money that players have already earned over the past five years to pay them in the next MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] period.

"This along with a number of other assumptions artificially inflates the purported increases to players."

ACA president Greg Dyer said: "Refusing offers of flexibility and to attend mediation says a lot. As does the refusal of the CA CEO [James Sutherland] to be involved.

"It says they weren't fair dinkum. It's been a case of divide and rule from the start and when that failed the threats started and haven't stopped.

"All of which has failed. It's quite incredible. Reasonable young men and women have been set upon by their employer with tactics not seen before in Australian sport.

"So given they will be unemployed the players have to consider how best to respond."