Cricket Australia’s Cost Cutting Expected To Threaten Future Of Cricket
Cricket Australia stakeholders are reportedly concerned over the future of cricket, after the cost-cutting measures by Cricket Australia continue to impact grassroots and junior development programs.
Cricket Australia cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have seen more than 200 staff members stood down, while its 25 percent cuts to state association grants has already cause more than 100 job losses around Australia.
Notably, Cricket Victoria cut 36 percent of its staff, totalling more than 55 individuals, with a spokesman saying there will be a “significant impact on community cricket”.
Retired Australian Test player, Stuart Clark, said the cuts from Cricket Australia down would eventually be felt at the highest level of the men’s and women’s game.
“By cutting further, it won’t be felt in the next year or two, but it might be felt in 10 years’ time,” Clark told the ABC.
“All they’re really concerned about is having the next Australian player, whereas there’s a whole heap of levels of cricket that need to be filled with people that actually have skills that are learnt at a junior age.
“Those skills aren’t being taught anymore,” he said.
Cricket Australia chief executive, Kevin Roberts, said his organisation has not been immune to the social, economic, and operational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the criticism of the cost-cutting measures.
“Cricket needs to adapt to manage impacts that have already occurred, while preparing for changes necessary in a time of uncertainty,” Roberts said.
“The sport industry has been deeply affected and we are all working through this to ensure we come out at the other end stronger, even if leaner,” he said.
Cricket Australia has since announced the summer schedule for the national men’s and women’s teams, with an ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe in August set to kick off the season.
“While acknowledging the difficulty in navigating a global pandemic, we are nonetheless encouraged by the progress Australia is making in combatting the Coronavirus and the positive impact that is having on our ability to host an exciting summer of cricket in 2020-21,” Roberts said.
“We know that circumstances or events beyond our control could mean that the final schedule potentially may look different to the one released today, but we’ll be doing everything we can to get as much international cricket in as possible this summer.
“We will communicate any changes to the schedule if or when they are required,” he said.