CAPE TOWN, March 31 (Reuters) - Player salaries for the South African 2020-21 cricket season are safe, but the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic could mean the country’s cricketers earn less in the future, Cricket South Africa Acting CEO Jacques Faul has said.
A number of sports teams and organisations around the world have either reduced the salaries of players and officials, or cut their staff numbers in the wake of the virus outbreak that has crippled global sport.
Faul said CSA, who contract players on a yearly basis, will not follow suit, but believed the longer-term prospects for player income is of great concern.
“We have budgeted for the amount. It is a centralised system and both the national team and franchise players are budgeted for,” Faul told local media on Tuesday.
“At this stage we will have enough capacity to see us through the season.
“But in the long term, even if we cover this season, we will have to look at what the situation is going to be after that and the financial impact it has.
“In our situation, I cannot see any player getting less money this season, but going forward I can see a situation where players might have to receive less.”
Faul added they are currently undertaking scenario planning based on the impact of no cricket for the next three, six or nine months.
“How much will be available to pay players (next season)? We need to see the total effect of Covid-19. And of course, players right now miss out on appearance fees and win bonuses,” he said.
“If we have series postponed and they are played at a later date, then they can make it up. If not, that is lost income.”
Faul conceded that in a worst-case scenario, where international cricket cannot be played for two or three seasons, the game could become a recreational sport in South Africa.
“You must evaluate every resource the available now, and how far will it stretch. If we run out of capacity to run cricket in the country then it becomes a recreational sport,” he said.
“It has got us all nervous and it (the coronavirus) is a big concern. But health is the most important thing. Sport feeds a lot of people, but we must be honest that the world has even bigger challenges at the moment.”
South Africa’s next scheduled international assignment is a test and limited overs tour of the West Indies starting in late July. (Reporting By Nick Said Editing by Christian Radnedge)