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24 James Cook U. L. Rev. 77 (2018)
Cricket and the Law: Ball Tampering, Contracts and Enterprise Bargaining Agreements

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                           CHRIS DAVIES* AND SAM LANSKY*

Cricket in Australia has faced two recent crises, the first being the prolonged enterprise
bargaining negotiations between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers
Association (ACA) that resulted in a situation where, for a few months, Cricket
Australia had no contracted players. This meant that during this period CA had no
players to fulfil its contractual broadcasting obligations. When the matter was finally
resolved it is very much in favour of the players as CA backed down on it position of
not using the revenue sharing model. It is suggested this highlights that it is players who
now hold the greater bargaining power when it comes to negotiations. The second crisis
involved the ball tampering incident in South Africa, with CA banning three players
from playing first-class cricket in Australia for up to twelve months. It is suggested that
given the severity of the incident and its late season timing, the penalties were
reasonable and therefore legal under the terms of the players' contracts.

                               I INTRODUCTION
During 2017-18 cricket in Australia faced two significant crises. The first was the
drawn out negotiations between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers'
Association (ACA) in what has been described as the most significant pay dispute in
Australian cricket history,1 one that, temporarily at least, brought professional cricket
in Australia to a standstill. Eventually, a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA)
was negotiated in time for the threatened 2017-18 Ashes series against England to go
ahead as scheduled.
It was during Australia's next series, away against South Africa in March 2018, that an
even greater problem arose when it was revealed the Australia cricket team had resorted
to using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball to assist their bowlers. The two
players directly involved, Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft, as well as captain,
Steve Smith, received match bans from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
However, the penalties handed down by CA went much further, imposing twelve month
domestic bans on Steve Smith and Dave Warner, while Cameron Bancroft received a
nine month ban. Whilst none of the three players chose to appeal the suspensions, the
severity of the penalties did raise issues as to their legality on the grounds that they may
have amounted to a restraint of trade.
Within the context of sport, former International Olympic Committee President, Jacque
Rogge, has suggested governance involves clarification between the rules of the games
and the economic and commercial dimension related to the management of sport. He
also suggests that since sport is based on ethics and fair play, sports governance should

Associate Professor, College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University.
** Fourth year law student, College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University.
'Mary Gearin, Cricket pay deal: Here's what you need to know (3 August 2017) ABC News
<http:/www. abc. net. au/news/20 17 -08 -03/cricket-pay-deal-explained/8771988>.

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