Australia's Tim Paine
Australia's Test captain Tim Paine agrees that a full Test series against India in December-January will solve a lot of financial problems. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Australian cricketers joined their peers from England in declaring that they are ready to take a pay-cut to save the future of the game in their country, which has taken a severe hit following the coronavirus pandemic.

“Players need to know the absolute financial positions of the game and the players aren’t going to be greedy,” Tim Paine, Australia’s Test captain, said in an interview on ABC Radio.

“Our livelihood, all the people associated with the CA and the players association, their livelihood is dependent on the game of cricket being healthy.

“So at the moment if a pay cut for us is on the cards and that keeps our game thriving well into the future, then that’s something we’ll certainly have to look at, ”

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Earlier this month, England’s centrally contracted cricketers agreed to take a voluntary salary reduction for the next three months in the wake of the global health crisis. The Professional Cricketers’ Association had announced that men’s centrally contracted players will donate 500,000 pounds to the ECB and selected good causes, the equivalent to a 20 per cent pay cut for the next three months.

In addition, centrally contracted members of the England women’s team will take a voluntary salary reduction in April, May and June.

It’s common knowledge now that Cricket Australia - which is going ahead with their preparation for the T20 World Cup in October-November despite the question mark over it’s fate - might lose a staggering AUD 300 million dollars if the Indian team fails to turn up for the bi-lateral series due to the global health crisis in Deceember-January, The Australian board has gone on record that they will try to convince their Indian counterparts to play a five-Test series instead of the usual four to offset some of their losses.

Paine said he wasn’t surprised at the poor financial state of the board. “I think commercially a lot of sponsors have been pretty hard hit and it’s obviously going to hit Cricket Australia at some stage then as well,” Paine said.

“I think there’s a bit of safeguarding towards the potential of India not coming (on a tour in December/January) which is worth something like 250 to 300 million dollars.”

Australia’s borders are sealed till September 30 but in a bid to salvage the India tour, the government is considering providing international exemptions to allow the Indian team arrive in Australia.

The 35-year-old Paine said he is not aware of any contingency plan if the India tour doesn’t go ahead and hoped Virat Kohli and his men can arrive in Australia as planned. “I haven’t just yet and I don’t want to be. I’m hoping that they get here, that would solve a lot of issues,” Paine said.

“I know there’s been some early talks with Cricket Australia and the government around the potential of what could be done, chartering planes and getting them in isolation when they get here to make sure that we can get India here,’’ he added.