Players have declined to represent Australia // Getty

'Disappointed' CA responds to Aus A tour

The cost of the tour to South Africa will now be directed to grassroots cricket

Cricket Australia has expressed its disappointment that the planned Australia A tour of South Africa won't go ahead after the players chose not to participate, claiming that negotiations over a new Memorandum of Understanding that have taken place in recent days should have enabled the tour to proceed.

Those discussions included meetings between the negotiating teams representing both parties as well as regular communications between the respective Chief Executives, CA's James Sutherland and his Australian Cricketers' Association counterpart Alistair Nicholson.

Quick Single: ACA confirm Australia A tour cancellation

In a statement released shortly after the ACA announced the players would not be making themselves available for the month-long tour, CA reiterated they would not compel any player to represent their country if they were unwilling to do so.

CA also said players who were named in the Australia A squad and who hold ongoing contracts with their state associations or with KFC Big Bash League franchises will continue to have those agreements honoured.

And they have indicated that any of the estimated $250,000 that was to have been spent on the proposed Australia A tour and can be recovered will be directed to community facilities, along with the payments that would have been made to out-of-contract players as announced last week.

"Cricket Australia is disappointed that players have today confirmed that they are unwilling to take part in the Australia A tour of South Africa," the CA statement said.

"CA has never and would never attempt to compel any player to represent Australia at any level if they were unwilling to do so.

"Australia A gives players an opportunity to perform and gain experience at a high level against quality international opposition. 

"CA has today advised Cricket South Africa of the players’ decision. 

"The Australia A tour was projected to cost CA in the vicinity of $250,000 to stage. 

"All funds that can be recouped as a result of not touring will be allocated by CA to the National Communities Facilities Fund. 

"Australia A squad members with multi-year state and BBL contracts will continue to have these honoured.

"Cricket Australia regrets that players have made this decision despite progress made in talks between CA and the ACA in meetings over the past week. 

"These talks included regular communication between CEOs. 

"While a new MOU has not yet been agreed, CA is of the view that these talks should have enabled the tour to proceed as planned. 

"CA will continue to work towards a new MOU which is in the interests of both the players and the game and calls upon the ACA to show the flexibility clearly now needed to achieve that outcome."

The month-long Australia A tour to South Africa was to include a pair of four-day matches – in which Test aspirants Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar and Jackson Bird were to take part – as well as a limited-overs tri-series that also featured India A.

Members of the 19-man squad for both legs of the proposed tour had begun preparing at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane this week, but will now return to their respective states where they are able to continue training even if they are out of contract as a result of the ongoing stalemate.

The next scheduled engagement for the national men's team is a proposed seven-day training camp in Darwin starting on August 10 ahead of the planned two-Test tour to Bangladesh to begin on August 18.

That camp is to include a three-day intra-squad match for the 13 members of the touring party already named for the Bangladesh tour that is scheduled to contain Tests in Dhaka (starting August 27) and Chittagong (starting September 4).

The 14th berth in the squad – to cover the absence of fast bowler Mitchell Starc who continues to recover from a recent foot fracture – was to have been based on performances of seamers Bird, Chadd Sayers, Jason Behrendorff and Chris Tremain on the now cancelled Australia A tour to South Africa.