Australian Cricketers’ Association Lambastes CA For Steps Taken to Deal With Financial Crunch
Greg Dyer (© AFP)

Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has slammed the national cricket board for their decisions to deal with the financial crisis arising out of the coronavirus pandemic warning it will “have disastrous long-term consequences on the health of the game.”

Among the steps taken by Cricket Australia (CA) to deal with the potential financial crunch include putting 80 per cent of its staff on 20 per cent salary till June end even as its top executives are being paid 80 per cent of their salaries.

But the decision drew widespread criticism as it only saved them AUD 3 million as they already had around AUD 90 million in reserves at the end of March (2020), including 36 million in stock investments.

“It saddens me, that for the game that I have loved my whole life, cricket’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic is risking an opportunity lost,” ACA chairman Greg Dyer was quoted as saying by ACA’s official website.

“Given the game is so far yet to experience a significant negative revenue event associated with the pandemic, it should be in a relatively strong financial position, particularly relative to the winter sports, and with the benefit of time should emerge with a distinct advantage to other sports who’ve been caught directly in Covid’s cross-hairs,” he added.

He said the current situation provides an opportunity to set the house in order rather than damaging the game. “Now is not the time to diminish the game but instead… to seize the moment and improve it,” Dyer said.

Additionally, CA has appealed to the state boards to take 25 per cent pay cut something which Dyer describes as ‘horribly wrong’.

“That at the first sign of a headwind, states are being asked to take significant cuts, which are in turn filtering down to local cricket, suggests that something is horribly wrong with the current model,” he said.

CA will incur massive loss should India’s tour of Australia later this year be cancelled. Before that, they are scheduled to host the Men’s T20 World Cup in mid-October and there’s uncertainty over whether a tournament of this scale will be possible in the backdrop of the global health crisis.

Dyer said this is the time for CA to realign so that the game’s partner can have a greater voice.

“This is a critical time for the game it can either take the approach of looking to cut as many so-called ‘costs’ as it can from its balance sheet, something that will have disastrous long-term consequences on the health of the game; or it can realign so that the game’s partners (actually, its ‘shareholders’ – the states) have greater voice and autonomy than the mere ‘subsidiaries’ they currently resemble,” he said.