The Coronavirus pandemic is causing a turmoil all over the world, in the latest impact on Cricket, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has cancelled the Women’s tour of Sri Lanka which was scheduled later in April. Also, the Men’s tour of the Caribbean (West Indies) in June-July now seems “mostly unlikely”.
Men’s tours to Netherlands, Scotland and Ireland this summers are also covered in clouds of uncertainty as of now.
NZC’s Chief Executive, David White says, “Clearly, this situation is extremely disappointing for everyone involved in sport,”. He added, “Given the bigger picture, and the terrible toll COVID-19 is taking worldwide, we need to look after not only our own people but the greater community good”.
“Cricket in New Zealand has been fortunate in that we were very much at the end of our home summer programme when this crisis struck”.
There are question marks over the tour of Bangladesh of the Men’s team and also on their “A” tour to India which is scheduled in August, however, White says that it will be too early to categorically rule them out as of now.
Amongst the measures taken to make sure there are no pay cuts or even a cutdown in the workforce, NCZ has applied for the Government’s wage subsidy scheme. This scheme helps support the employers which have been adversely affected by Coronavirus so that the employers could continue paying their staff even during the lockdown.
White said, “With the lockdown now in full force, we’re mindful of the difficulties facing our cricket community,” and added, “Our current focus is very much on ensuring the future sustainability of cricket in New Zealand”.
Also, the staff and management of the New Zealand Cricket have agreed to exhaust their leaves entitlements over the period of time that is left of the current Financial Year (FY) which ends on 31st of July by switching to a 4 day working week.
White said, “We take our duty of care as an employer seriously and, at this juncture, want to avoid any changes to our employee headcount or remuneration levels,”.
He adds, “However, we’ll continue to closely monitor the effects on the wider cricket family”.
The New Zealand Cricket is aiming to work closely with the stakeholders over the coming few months in order to explore the various feasible scenarios which can be implemented for the coming season.
White had said that “Although the future is uncertain, we’re determined to be well-prepared for whatever opportunities arise”. As of now the on the global level more than 10 lakh cases have been reported of Coronavirus, out of which over 53,000 have lost their lives. In New Zealand, the number of cases has surged to 868 and 1 death was reported because of this deadly virus.