…Former England batsman Graeme Hick, Australia’s national team batting coach since 2016, is among those to have been made redundant
CRICKET Australia has announced a series of measures designed to offset the cost of the coronavirus pandemic, including 40 job cuts.
The financial implications of the global crisis are believed to be less severe than first feared. Kevin Roberts, who resigned as the national governing body’s chief executive on Tuesday, had initially suggested that the organisation could run out of money by August. In April, the majority of staff were placed on furlough leave on reduced pay, retaining just a skeleton staff.
Even so, however, Cricket Australia is looking to reduce its costs by AUD40m (£22m) by cutting administrative, travel and marketing costs, as well as reducing management pay and bonuses and restructuring plans for some representative and junior national age-group teams.
“Throughout Covid-19, the need to work closely with the cricket community and to move quickly as circumstances have changed has never been more important,” said Earl Eddings, Cricket Australia chairman.
“With increasing clarity about the impact of Covid-19, we have managed the financial impact on our organisation, our people, our partners and players. There will still be painful decisions for some parts of our organisation, but we have worked hard to carefully develop plans to protect our investment in community cricket and high-performance cricket, while ensuring the game’s financial sustainability.
“We recognise that this is a difficult time for Cricket Australia employees, particularly for those staff members affected by these redundancies and their families.
However, our responsibility is clear: to navigate a path for cricket through this period of uncertainty and disruption to ensure we come out the other side sustainable in the short term and prosperous in the long term.”
Former England batsman Graeme Hick, Australia’s national team batting coach since 2016, is among those to have been made redundant. The number of those departing is thought to be smaller than originally expected – a result of an improved outlook around Covid-19.
Eddings did confirm, though, that the country’s major domestic competitions – Sheffield Shield, Marsh Cup, Women’s National Cricket League, Big Bash and Women’s Big Bash – will continue in their current formats.
Australia A tours have been paused for the next year, while there will be no Cricket Australia XI fixtures. The Fox Cricket National Premier Cricket T20 and Toyota Second XI competitions have also been shelved for next season.
Australia remain hopeful that India will travel for a tour which would include a four-match Test series.
On Tuesday, however, Eddings admitted that the prospect of this year’s T20 World Cup going ahead as planned in the country was unlikely.
“While it hasn’t been formally called off this year, or postponed, trying to get 16 countries into Australia in the current world, where most countries are still going through Covid-19 spiking, I think it’s unrealistic, or it’s going to be very, very difficult,” he said.
Interim chief executive Nick Hockley added: “We are confident that our actions today, along with support of the board, states and territories, fans and partners, are the right steps to ensure we can manage the continued uncertainty while doing all we can to deliver on the domestic and international program.
“With cost savings at the tail end of FY20 and a clear FY21 plan, Cricket hopes to be able to avoid further changes post Covid-19.
“This is a difficult day for cricket. But by pulling together and with more positive signs for the upcoming summer, the Australian Cricket family can emerge from this pandemic stronger for it.”(The Cricketer)