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ACA slams Cricket Australia’s ‘disastrous slash and burn approach’


By: PTI | Sydney/melbourne |

Published: May 19, 2020 7:04:06 pm


Melbourne Cricket Ground (AP File)

Australian Cricketers Association’s (ACA) chairman Greg Dyer has slammed the national board’s “slash and burn approach” to combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it will “have disastrous long-term consequences on the health of the game”.

Under immense financial stress, Cricket Australia has put 80 percent of its staff on 20 percent salary till end of June, while a handful of others, including the executives, remained on 80 percent pay to cope up with the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The decision saved the board AUD 3 million, which was slammed by critics due to the fact that CA had some AUD 90 million in reserves at the end of March (2020), including 36 million in stock investments.

Dyer also questioned the board’s financial policy, saying the game has “yet to experience a significant negative revenue event”.

“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,” Dyer said in an article posted on the ACA 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 crosshairs.”

The former Test wicketkeeper feels this is the right time to improve the game.

“Now is not the time to diminish the game but instead… to seize the moment and improve it,”he said.

CA is also urging state associations to accept a 25 per cent pay cut and Dyer feels there is something “horribly wrong” with the current model.

“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 cautioned CA against its current approach which, according to Dyer, will have disastrous long-term consequences.

“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.”

CA is looking at a staggering AUD 300 million loss if the India Tour in October doesn’t go ahead due to the coronavirus. There is also the T20 World cup which Australia is scheduled to host in October-November.

CA’s decision to reduce state grants should be delayed until better understanding emerges: NSW

Cricket Australia rushed into introducing cost-cutting measures and it should delay the slashing of grants of state associations till a clearer picture emerges about India’s upcoming tour, feels New South Wales (NSW) bosses.

CA, led by chief executive Kevin Roberts, had claimed that it has suffered a AUD 20 million (10.6 million pounds) fall in revenue due to Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of its cost-cutting measures, the governing body had furloughed about 80 percent of its staff and is currently pushing member states to agree to a 25 per cent cuts to their grants, besides being in talks with players about adjusting pay.

Cricket NSW chief executive Lee Germon and chairman John Knox in an email to its staff and other stakeholders said it will wait to understand if cost reduction was required.

“Cricket Australia has proposed a 25 per cent reduction to its distributions to each state and territory for the upcoming 2020/21 season,” the email was quoted as saying by ‘the Age’.

“We are waiting for further information from Cricket Australia on its financial position. This information will help us understand whether any cost reductions throughout Australian cricket are required and, if so, where it is best to make those reductions.

“We believe that any decision to reduce the agreed state distributions should be delayed until there is a better understanding of whether international cricket will be played next season.”

Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have already accepted the cut in distribution of grants, while Western Australia agreed on the condition that all the others should also do.

The decision has already led to job losses around the country with Cricket Victoria being the most affected as 36 per cent of their full-timers have been shown the door.

“As a result of the Cricket Australia proposal, some states have already reduced their commitment to community cricket, potentially impacting the long-term future of the game,” Germon and Knox said in the email.

CA is staring at a staggering USD 300 million loss if India’s tour doesn’t go as planned due to the pandemic.

BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had said that though it is premature to talk about resumption of cricket, India’s tour of Australia later this year is likely to go ahead.

Germon and Knox said that “Cricket NSW is encouraged that the prospect of India touring in the upcoming season has increased over the past month.”

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“We would like to reassure you that Cricket NSW is absolutely committed to investing in the game of cricket at all levels to ensure future generations experience the joy of playing Australia’s national sport,” Germon and Knox said in their email.

The chairman of Australia’s professional cricketers’ union had also slammed the national board’s cost-cutting measures, saying they could have “disastrous” consequences for the game over the long term.

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