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Players’ union hits out at Cricket Australia pandemic response

Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chairman Greg Dyer

The chairman of the Australian Cricketers Association has condemned Cricket Australia’s cost-cutting in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as “disastrous” for the sport.

Greg Dyer has cast doubt on the CA board’s pessimistic financial projections, saying the game had “yet to experience a significant negative revenue event”.

Last month, CA said it had suffered a fall in revenue of A$20m ($13m/€7.8m) due to the pandemic, and announced it would stand down the majority of its staff from April 27 until the end of the current financial year. Roberts said players might also be expected to take a pay cut, and the board wants to cut the funding it provides to Australian state cricket authorities by 25 per cent.

Roberts said last month that CA could suffer a revenue hit of hundreds of millions of dollars if the planned tour by India later this year did not go ahead. The tour’s prospects have been boosted by Australia’s success in reducing Covid-19 infections within its borders.

Dyer, the former Test wicketkeeper, has been closely involved in talks between his players union and CA. In a statement on the ACA website, he said: “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…

“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.”