Melbourne, May 19 (IANS) Chairman of Australia Cricketers Association (ACA) Greg Dyer has lashed out at the country's cricket board for its response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Last month, Cricket Australia had announced to furlough majority of its staff on reduced pay for the remainder of the financial year to cope up with the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Dyer has questioned the board's gloomy financial outlook, saying the game had "yet to experience a significant negative revenue event."
"Given the game is so far yet to experience a significant negative revenue event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it should be in a relatively strong financial position, particularly relative to the winter sports, and with the benefit of time should emerge with a distinct advantage to other sports who've been caught directly in COVID's crosshairs," said Dyer in a statement.
"Now is not the time to diminish the game but instead... to seize the moment and improve it," he added.
He further said that any cuts to the domestic game – particularly the women's game on the back of its incredible T20 World Cup success – "would be contrary to cricket's aim to be a sport for everyone."
"Cricket's emphasis on commercial returns, however, has been both positive and negative. The primary positive is that Australian cricket should be in excellent financial health, creating opportunities for the sport to consolidate and invest in local and state cricket."
"However, instead of drawing comfort from cricket's good fortune, recent events have brought into relief the negative aspects of the game's heavy commercial emphasis – it has relied on an overly centralised (and costly) model of administration which has reduced the significance of the role played by states in the management of the sport and the development of the game," he said.
The ACA chairman said that Cricket Australia appears to be tacking the COVID-19 crisis in the opposite direction. "The cuts it has proposed to state distributions has already had disastrous consequences in some states..."
"The risk of squandering this opportunity suggests that a more united and coordinated approach is required for cricket to make the most of the opportunities which will emerge as the COVID-19 pandemic eases and a more normal life resumes," he added.
CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts had last month said that it the cricket body could suffer a revenue hit of hundreds of millions of dollars if India were unable to tour in the home summer for a four-Test and three-match ODI series scheduled to take place after the men's T20 World Cup.