Bangladesh tour can be postponed, hinted Paine


Australia's captain Tim Paine says the nation's cricketers are aware the delay to their central contracting for next season may well lead to pay cuts, and they accept that such a move would be part of the need to "do our bit" to preserve the game amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports ESPN Cricinfo.

He has also conceded that the scheduled Test tour of Bangladesh is looking unlikely, with the ICC yet to deliberate on what will take place should the remaining series of the World Test Championship be delayed or cancelled due to the need to reset for whenever it is safe again to travel around the world for international series.

While Cricket Australia has been highly fortunate in the timing of the pandemic, the governing body and its state association owners have been locked into deep discussions of how to prepare for the broad range of scenarios in front of them, ranging from minimal disruption of next sum­mer to an outlook as bleak as that currently faced by the winter football codes.

Paine, who awoke on Tuesday morning to find his wallet had been stolen after he left it in his car in Hobart after moving it outside to make room for a home gym set-up, said that the players were aware of the fact that they may need to make financial sacrifices to help shore up the wider game, under the terms of their collective agreement with CA that affords them around 26% of Australian Cricket Revenue  each season.

"Certainly discussions will start happening in the next week or so," Paine said. "There's obviously the delay in our list announcement if you like. Certainly if things happen similar to what's happened to football and other sports, then we've certainly got to do our bit to make sure the game survives and remains really healthy for years to come.

"If it comes to that, I'm sure that's something that the players will look at. But there are bigger issues going on around the world at the moment than how much our sportsmen are going to get paid. That'll be a small thing to us if that was to happen."

As for Bangladesh, Paine said that time was running short for the series to be able to be played as scheduled, leaving administrators to weigh up what to do next. 

"At this stage I think you don't have to be Einstein to realise it's probably unlikely to go ahead, particularly in June," Paine said. "Whether it's cancelled completely or its pushed back, we're not quite sure at the moment, but it's a couple of Test matches and if at the end of the day we have to miss them, then so be it.

"I think whether some series have been cancelled, whether one's going forward, or we are going to postpone them [we have to wait and see]... And maybe players are going to go through a period where we play five weeks' cricket [at a stretch] if we can to complete the Test championship.

"I think the players are certainly enjoying that points system and the fact that every Test match counts for something and you are playing towards a premiership if you like. I think all players will be in favour of trying to finish that in any way we can. But again if it doesn't happen as I said there are bigger issues in the world and missing a few Test matches isn't going to hurt us."