Wellington: New Zealand's cricketers are likely to bear the maximum brunt of their board's decision to cut costs by $3 million.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC), courtesy the appreciation of the local currency against the US dollar and poor gate receipts from international matches in the last one year, is projecting a dip in income for the current financial year ending July 31.
Keeping the current scenario in mind, the NZC will pass on the burden to the professional players by keeping part of their salaries on hold until 2015 and ensuring the current crisis does not affect the country's domestic schedule.
"That (reducing the domestic schedule) would very much be a last possible option because we are a cricket organisation and we want to preserve as much content and as much cricket as possible," NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan was quoted as saying the Sunday Star-Times.
"We are looking in the region of trying to claw back about $3 million in cost savings. Ideally, we would do it through driving additional revenue but the US dollar rate doesn't help us and the market internationally is tough."
The board struck an eight-year master agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA) in August last year. The agreement centred on a risk and reward model where the professional players received more money when the board was doing well financially, but would have to endure the bad times if they ever occurred.
The bad times have come sooner than expected and Heath Mills, CEO of the NZCPA said they are ready to work with the board during this testing phase and will ensure that domestic cricket is immune from it.
"One of the key tenets of the master agreement, which we are very committed to upholding, is that when the game does well, the professional game - particularly the players - benefit and get a far greater share of the upside," Mills said. "But the quid pro quo is that when the game hasn't gone so well and the revenues aren't what we expect, then the professional game and the players need to pick up the shortfall.
"The amateur game - the grassroots level of the sport - has its funding protected now as part of the agreement.
"We have been working with NZC to highlight areas in which cuts can be made for the next financial year without unduly affecting the professional cricket programme or the ability to retain players. A number of those cuts occur around the player payment pool.
"From a player's point of view, while it's disappointing, we understand that it's the nature of the deal," said Mills.
"It's our duty and obligation to make sure we absorb the shortfall and we keep our partnership and master agreement with NZC alive," he said.