Australia faces further cost-cutting despite improved outlook

Australia faces further cost-cutting despite improved outlook

Australian cricket faces another round of cost-cutting to shore up finances hit by the coronavirus shutdown and no part of the game will be immune, board chief Kevin Roberts said on Friday.

Ashes 2019 - Third Test - England v Australia
FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Ashes 2019 - Third Test - England v Australia - Headingley, Leeds, Britain - August 23, 2019 General view as the England players huddle before Australia's 2nd innings Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

MELBOURNE: Australian cricket faces another round of cost-cutting to shore up finances hit by the coronavirus shutdown and no part of the game will be immune, board chief Kevin Roberts said on Friday.

Cricket Australia (CA) has already furloughed about 80per cent of its workforce, while state associations have also made deep staff cuts in recent weeks.

CA's financial outlook has improved with India's four-test tour, worth an estimated AUS$300 million (US$200 million) in revenue to CA, set to go ahead in the home summer.

But Roberts said the board was still facing an AUS$80 million (43.13 million pounds) shortfall due to COVID-19 and the high likelihood Australia will not be able to host the Twenty20 World Cup in October-November.

"So we’re focused on delivering the best season as possible noting that the likelihood of significant crowds is very slim," he told reporters on a video call on Friday.

"Ordinarily that would deliver well over AUS$50 million in revenue to Cricket Australia.

"The T20 World Cup is a big question and that’s a factor of perhaps AUS$20 million and ... it’s likely that our biosecurity measures we need to put in place to deliver the season will cost in the order of AUS$10 million."

Most CA staff remain furloughed on 20per cent pay until the end of June, while the board's executive team have taken a 20per cent pay-cut.

Roberts' leadership amid the pandemic has been slammed by former players and media pundits, who have accused him of exaggerating the game's financial problems.

However, Roberts said further cuts were necessary to maintain investment in community cricket as much as possible.

"We've made a commitment to significantly reduce the cost base of Cricket Australia, unfortunately that means no area of the organisation will be untouched," he said.

"It's unfortunate that there will be an impact on our people."

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: Reuters

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