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Australia lays off cricket staff over virus shutdown

SYDNEY: Cricket Australia has announced it is laying off most of its administrative staff and will run a skeleton operation until at least mid-year due to COVID-19’s impact on the game.
The governing body informed the majority of staffers that from April 27 they would have to remain home on reduced pay, reportedly 20 percent of their regular salary, until June 30 at the earliest.
With international and domestic cricket postponed indefinitely because of the virus, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said the game had to cut costs. He hoped the situation regarding the resumption of play would be clearer by June 30.
“The impacts on the sports industry of the coronavirus pandemic are bigger than any sport,” he said in a statement. “Cricket Australia — like all sporting bodies — is planning for a return to training/play, although no one is certain when this will be possible at this stage, and many scenarios are being considered.”
Cricket Australia’s website reported there were “ongoing discussions” between CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association about potential financial implications for players.
The board further said it was optimistic Australia’s 2020-21 home schedule, which includes the T20 World Cup and a blockbuster Test series against India, would proceed even if stadiums were empty.
Australian officials are keen for the India series to go ahead and are considering hosting Virat Kohli’s men at a new luxury hotel with training facilities while they undergo mandatory quarantine.
The South Australian Cricket Association had offered to house India at a hotel in the Adelaide Oval cricket stadium. The hotel, which is currently under construction and is due to open in September, would allow the players to train at top-class facilities during a 14-day quarantine period.
The series is expected to earn television revenue worth Aus$300 million for Cricket Australia, buy th plan would need approval from government and health authorities in Australia, as well as the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
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