From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Cricket Australia's further troubles. Cricket Australia and the players' union, the Australian Cricketers' Association, are heading for a stoush -- one that is very public, with a cut-off date of June 30 for a new pay deal. In the midst of the dispute, the players have formed a company that will control their intellectual property and images. Here’s a question for Cricket Australia and their union-bashing chairman David Peever (a former CEO of Rio Tinto Australia): can Cricket Australia, the Nine Network and their advertising and market consultants and agencies continue to use the images of Test team stars such as Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc after June 30, to sell next summer’s much-anticipated Ashes Test series against England? If there is no agreement by June 30, can the players and their new company assert control of their images and intellectual property? And if they can, can they then assign the right to use those images after June 30 to Cricket Australia, Nine and their marketing and advertising consultants for a fee (presumably a very large fee)? If they can control their images and they don’t wish to assign them in any way, do Cricket Australia and Nine have a marketing campaign, or will Cricket Australia and Nine have to pull the ads now being broadcast? One for the sports lawyers perhaps?