Caitlin Bassett is worried about the future of young players in netball because of a financial crisis ©Getty Images

Caitlin Bassett, the former Australian captain from 2017 to 2021, has claimed that young stars of netball will abandon their professional career due to the financial crisis facing the sport.

The 34-year-old was unhappy with Netball Australia's decision to roll over the current Collective Player Agreement without increasing pay for the athletes.  

Bassett currently works for Cricket New South Wales, as she witnessed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketer's Association (ACA) that improved the earning of athletes in the domestic Women's National Cricket League and the Women's Big Bash League to AUD $151,000 (£82,000/$101,000/€92,000).

Bassett's first netball contract with the West Coast Fever in 2005 was only worth AUS $50 (£27/$33.50/€30.50).

She spent 11 years with the club before moving to the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

For her nation, Bassett was able to help the team win the 2011 and 2015 Netball World Championships, along with a gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Caitlin Bassett is currently a player development manager at Cricket New South Wales ©Getty Images
Caitlin Bassett is currently a player development manager at Cricket New South Wales ©Getty Images

"I sat in the meeting where the girls were talked to by the ACA about their new MOU and....talking about some of the minimum or average wages and my jaw dropped," she told News Corp.

"How exciting it is for them....knowing that if they continue working hard in the game that their minimum (wage) is going to look like around AUD $70,000 (£38,000/$47,000/€43,000) and if they make it to the Australian team and get a CA contract, they are set for life.

"There are lots of netballers who aren't getting opportunities or getting what they need in the sport and there's more opportunities and now more money in other sports for them to go to - there's also Olympic pathways in other sports.

"It's not the players wanting to take all the money and bankrupt the is about working together and how everyone can grow the game."

Netball Australia recently lost a crucial sponsorship deal with Hancock Prospecting, a mining company owned by Gina Rinehart.

Rinehart's views on indigenous people contributed to player disapproval, with Donnell Wallam refusing to wear the company logo on her jersey.

Despite the Victorian Government attempting to save the deal, Netball Australia are now AUD $4.2 million (£2.3 million/$2.8 million/€2.6 million) in debt.