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Cricket Australia battles financial crisis amid coronavirus

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi
April 27, 2020 14:03 IST
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Kevin Roberts has failed to explain CA's financial crisis: Former ICC CEO Speed

Cricket Australia

IMAGE: Australia's head coach Justin Langer chats with Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon and former Australia captain Steve Waugh. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Former ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed feels Cricket Australia's financial matters are quite complicated and current CEO Kevin Roberts has failed to offer a certain degree of clarity required in these troubled times.

Under financial stress, Cricket Australia has already put 80 per cent of its staff on 20 per cent salary till end of June, while a handful of others, including the executives, remained on 80 per cent pay.

 

The decision saved 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 AUD 36 million in stock investments.

Speed, also a former CA top boss, pointed out how CA had invested AUD 22 million in 2012, which increased to around AUD 45 million earlier this year before slipping to AUD 36 million due to thecoronavirus shock.

"I think that's been messy," Speed told SEN Radio.

"I saw an article saying cricket has lost millions of dollars on the stock market. Well, before it lost millions on the stock market it made millions of dollars on the stock market and its lost part of its profits, but it hasn't lost anything yet because it hasn't sold. That was an issue."

"I don't think cricket's financial issues have been explained very well, they're quite complicated, and I think Kevin Roberts has stumbled through that and tried to clarify the issue, but it's very difficult to follow," Speed, who served as chief executive of CA between 1997 and 2001, told SEN Radio.

The 71-year-old, who had served as an ICC CEO from 2001 to 2008, feels Roberts has a lot of explaining to do.

"There's been lots of surprise, there seemed to be surprise from staff at CA that they were stood down, so they didn't see that one coming. So I think there's still some explaining to be done there," he said.

"I'd be very surprised if Kevin lost his job as a result of this, but then again I've been surprised by a couple of the other things that have happened."

CA is also 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.

Speed said: "Increasingly as we move through this Covid-19 situation, that seems increasingly unlikely that's going to be able to happen." 

Australia players won't be greedy if asked to take pay cut: Paine

Australia Test captain Tim Paine says he and his teammates will not be 'greedy' if they are asked to take a pay cut to sustain cricket in the country after the massive financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With India's tour of Australia and the upcoming T20 World Cup in doubt due to the fast-spreading coronavirus, Cricket Australia has already stood down 80 per cent of its staff and is in talks with the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) regarding a potential pay cut for players.

"Players need to know the absolute financial positions of the game and the players aren't going to be greedy," Paine said on ABC Radio.

"Our livelihood, all the people associated with the CA and the players association, their livelihood is dependent on the game of cricket being healthy."

"So at the moment if a pay cut for us is on the cards and that keeps our game thriving well into the future, then that's something we'll certainly have to look at," he added.

Cricket Australia might lose a staggering AUD 300 million dollars if the Indian team fails to turn up for the bilateral series due to the global health crisis.

Paine said he wasn't surprised at the poor financial state of the board.

"I think commercially a lot of sponsors have been pretty hard hit and it's obviously going to hit Cricket Australia at some stage then as well," Paine said.

"I think there's a bit of safeguarding towards the potential of India not coming (on a tour in December/January) which is worth something like 250 to 300 million dollars."

Australia's borders are sealed till September 30 but in a bid to salvage the India tour, the government is considering providing international exemptions to allow the Indian team arrive in Australia.

The 35-year-old Paine said he is not aware of any contingency plan if the India tour doesn't go ahead and hoped Virat Kohli and his men can arrive in Australia as planned.

"I haven't just yet and I don't want to be. I'm hoping that they get here, that would solve a lot of issues," Paine said.

"I know there's been some early talks with Cricket Australia and the government around the potential of what could be done, chartering planes and getting them in isolation when they get here to make sure that we can get India here. But apart from that I've only heard a few things on the rumour mill about maybe New Zealand coming out and us going there."

Asked about Michael Clarke's claims that the Australians had 'sucked up' to Indian captain Kohli in recent years to protect lucrative IPL deals, Paine said the former Aussie captain should have taken individual names if he wants to take people on.

"If you're going to come out with a big quote and try and take people on and cause any sort of trouble and have a crack at people, I think you name people individually and he certainly didn't," Paine said.

"It was certainly unfounded because I was out on the field and there was no one taking it easy (on Kohli)." 

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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