Darren Lehmann: Australia coach says contract dispute is 'distraction'

Australia coach Darren Lehmann
Darren Lehmann called on players and Cricket Australia officials to "get talking"

Australia coach Darren Lehmann says the ongoing dispute over players' pay will not threaten November's Ashes series, but admits it will be a "distraction" during the Champions Trophy in June.

Cricket Australia (CA) has proposed to increase pay for men and women but end benefits from a revenue-sharing scheme.

The offer was rejected, and CA said it would not pay players after 30 June.

Vice-captain David Warner suggested the men's team might strike, but Lehmann said: "I'm sure that won't happen."

He added: "I have my views but I'm not going to share it. I'm talking to both players and CA.

"I think both parties have just got to get talking. They'll get a deal done and once that happens, everyone will be right and we'll move forward and get the game going the way it should be."

If the dispute is not resolved, there would be uncertainty over what team Australia could field after 30 June.

They have a two-Test series in Bangladesh scheduled for August, before a home Ashes series against England which runs from 23 November 2017 to 8 January 2018.

The Women's World Cup also takes place in England between 24 June and 23 July - and Australia's elite female players have shown solidarity with their male counterparts over the dispute, despite CA's March offer to double the elite women's pay.

Australia's men's team play their first warm-up game before the ICC Champions Trophy - held in England and Wales from 1-18 June - against Sri Lanka on 26 May.

"It is going to be a bit of a distraction, there's no doubt about that," Lehmann said.

"But just getting together and working it out is the way to go. There's no panic, it's just about the two parties getting together."

ICC Champions Trophy 2017
Venue: The Oval, Edgbaston, Cardiff Dates: 1-18 June
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; in-play highlights and text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Group A: Australia (1), New Zealand (4), England (6), Bangladesh (7)
Group B: India (2), South Africa (3), Sri Lanka (5), Pakistan (8)
(seedings in brackets)
Click here for squad lists

Top Stories