Amid the coronavirus epidemic, Cricket Australia has decided to stand down the majority of its staff on reduced pay from April 27th until the end of the financial year.

CA could be considered one of the luckiest organisations in the Australian sporting landscape. The recent summer of cricket was relatively unscathed by the COVID-19 crisis, with only two one-day internationals against New Zealand and four Sheffield Shield matches postponed or cancelled.

As the NRL and AFL desperately work to avoid financial catastrophe, CA announced on Thursday they have also been forced to take action, stripping down to just their “skeleton staff” later this month.

Cricket Australia will stand down all but a skeleton staff from April 27 until the end of the financial year.

“The impacts on the sports industry of the coronavirus pandemic are bigger than any one sport,” CA 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.

“We are conscious of the impact this will have on Australian Cricket and are working hard to manage that proactively.

“We have made the decision during this period of isolation, where activity has naturally been reduced, to stand down our people on reduced pay (with the exception of a skeleton staff) effective 27 April for the remainder of the financial year.

“We will continue to seek advice from medical experts and relevant government agencies to ensure the health and safety of our people, volunteers and communities, and to return to business as soon as possible.”

In March, CEO Kevin Roberts reportedly told the CA staff lay-offs may not be required if next summer is unaffected, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia’s Test tour of Bangladesh in June was postponed last week due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian Premier League, scheduled to commence earlier this month, has also been delayed by the global health crisis.

Although the 2019/20 summer would still be considered a financial success for CA, there are lingering concerns about how next summer’s fixtures will be impacted. Australia is scheduled to host its maiden Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup in October, with the world’s best short-format cricketers travelling Down Under for the highly-anticipated tournament.

Virat Kohli’s India – the world’s number one cricket side – are also returning for four Test matches next summer. CA could reportedly lose up to $300 million in television revenue if the 2020/21 Test series against India cannot go ahead as planned.

Originally published as Cricket’s brutal sacrifice in virus carnage

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