National contracts pushed back due to virus

Cricket Australia announcement put on hold given global uncertainty due to pandemic

Cricket Australia's (CA) contract list announcement will be pushed back at least a month as the game prepares to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials had planned to bring forward announcement of contracts from May to April this year, in a bid to provide more certainty to the states given the flow-on effect.

Contracts run on a financial year basis until the end of June, however announcing the women's list on Wednesday and men's on Thursday would have assisted all parties.

However that plan has been put on hold for now until the end of April, given the economic uncertainty due to the pandemic.

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) agreed to the move and national women's captain Meg Lanning endorsed the decision this week.

"Given the uncertainty around what’s happening around the world at the moment, it makes sense to take a minute, take a breath and work out what we’re dealing with and what potential impacts it might have for the game moving forward," Lanning told reporters on Monday.

"We’ve been communicating really well with Cricket Australia and the ACA, working together with them.

"At the moment, it’s about waiting a little while for everyone to get the relevant information and is ready to move forward with that."

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Australia's men are due to tour Bangladesh in June and England in July, with both those series now in serious doubt.

England's players may be forced to take a pay cut after the country's governing body (the ECB) announced no professional cricket will be played until the end of May.

"We're looking at everything about how the game can make savings," an ECB spokesman told The Times newspaper on Sunday.

"There's a formal process to go through with centrally contracted players but the game needs to pull together at this time. We believe the players realise the bigger picture."

Compared to many of the country's other big sporting codes, CA have avoided the worst of the financial impacts of the health crisis for the 2019-20 financial year.

Two home one-day internationals against New Zealand were postponed and the Sheffield Shield came to an early conclusion, but the summer's big money-spinners were not impacted.

However this summer's home Test series against India is one of the sport's most lucrative events in the country, and any impact on that would hurt CA's bottom line.

Given players are equal partners in the game, it is possible they could face cuts just as those in the winter sports codes are currently dealing with.

At an administration level, CA have already begun to prepare themselves for any financial losses.

The organisation's executives have taken a pay cut, while a hiring freeze has been put in place. At this point there has been no need to enforce staff to take leave.

At a state level the South Australia Cricket Association were forced to make 23 staff redundant last week.

A hiring freeze on all roles including that of a new coach to replace the previously ousted Jamie Siddons, with the organisation part managers of Adelaide Oval and feeling the pinch of the AFL shutdown.