Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced a temporary 50 percent reduction in salaries and cricket funding across the entire regional cricket system, effective from the start of July. This decision has been necessary in the face of debilitating economic challenges which have resulted from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release from CWI.
With no international cricket currently being played anywhere in the world, and with great uncertainty of when regular cricket activity will resume, CWI – like many other international sporting organisations worldwide – is facing a significant loss of income, whilst also being uncertain of the long-term impact of the crisis on our operations.
It is in that context that CWI’s Board of Directors, with deep regret, have agreed to a plan that we expect will safeguard CWI’s future while delivering at least a minimum level of job protection for all of the people employed or contracted throughout the region’s cricket community.
During last Thursday’s Teleconference, CWI’s Board of Directors received recommendations from the Financial Strategy Advisory Committee (FSAC). The FSAC was formed in April by CWI President Ricky Skerritt, to make recommendations on how CWI could best manage its resources in order to continue its core business over the next few months in view of the changing and uncertain economic environment created by the global pandemic COVID-19. These recommended measures followed close consultation with all stakeholders.
President Skerritt said: “Cricket is the beating heart of our region for many individuals, communities, and economies. This pandemic is hurting every West Indian and this decision to cut staff and player incomes has been a very difficult one to make; one that will impact so many members of the cricketing family around the Caribbean. This business continuity plan unfortunately requires all stakeholders to make a huge sacrifice, but I am confident that it won’t be long before CWI will be in a position to ensure that the sport we love can restart and be enjoyed once again by the thousands of cricket fans across the region and diaspora.”
CWI has kept staff, players, umpires and coaches on full-pay since the outbreak of COVID-19 and have tried our best to avoid any cuts for as long as possible. CWI hopes that these temporary measures will only be in place for not more than three to six months. These measures will also include a 50 percent reduction in funding for Territorial Boards, Territorial Board Franchises and WIPA, as well as a 50 percent cut in all retainers and allowances for Directors and Executive management.
CWI CEO, Johnny Grave said: “The effects of this pandemic have been distressing for everyone – the worst crisis of our lifetime – and at present, we cannot be certain when the situation will be rectified. We recognize that this will cause financial pain for all our staff, players, coaches and umpires across the Caribbean, but having kept everyone on full-pay since the outbreak in March we have no choice but to take decisive action from next month onwards. CWI’s greatest asset is our people and players and everyone sharing equally in the temporary reduction, we believe is the best way for us to ensure we get through this crisis and protect our organisation and all the jobs in the system. We will be reviewing the situation regularly with the hope that we can return to normal operations at the earliest opportunity.”