MELBOURNE: Australia's cricket board have projected a nearly 50per cent plunge in revenue that underpins player payments as the domestic game struggles to cope with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, local media reported on Thursday.
The Australian newspaper said Cricket Australia's revenue pool was originally forecast at around AUS$400 million (US$276 million) in the 2020/21 season but had been slashed due to COVID-19's impact on the schedule.
Players are paid just over a quarter of the revenues as per their revenue-sharing agreement in their collecting bargaining agreement with CA.
The players union, the Australian Cricketers' Association, confirmed to Reuters that they had received revised revenue projections from CA and would hold a board meeting to discuss them later on Thursday.
CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said last week the board was facing a shortfall of about AUS$80 million in revenue due to COVID-19 and there was a high likelihood Australia would not be able to host the Twenty20 World Cup in October-November.
The bleakest scenario looks to have been avoided, however, with India's lucrative four-test tour, worth an estimated AUS$300 million in revenue, set to go ahead in the home summer.
CA had more than AUS$90 million in reserves at the end of March but furloughed about 80per cent of its workforce in April to save some AUS$3 million in costs, a move that drew widespread criticism.
Several of Australia's state associations have also made deep staff cuts in recent weeks.
Roberts last week flagged another round of cost-cutting, saying no part of the game would be "untouched".
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)