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June 19, 2011
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) will be cutting costs by around US$ 3 million and, as a result, the country's professional players will have to wait until 2015 to receive part of their salaries for the next financial year. The appreciation of the New Zealand dollar in relation to the US$ - the currency in which a significant amount of NZC's revenues are paid - and poor gate receipts during Pakistan's tour have led to a drop in projected income for the financial year ending July 31.
The deferment in pay falls within the purview of an eight-year agreement signed between NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association in which the parties follow a 'risk and reward' model whereby players earn a significantly greater income during economically lucrative times, but absorb the shortfall during recession.
"We are looking in the region of trying to claw back about $3 million in cost savings. Ideally, we'd do it through driving additional revenue but the US dollar rate doesn't help us and the market internationally is tough," NZC CEO Justin Vaughan told the Sunday Star-Times.
However, irrespective of how good or bad the revenues are, a significant amount, as per the agreement, is allocated each year to the development of the game at the grassroots.
Heath Mills, the CEO of the players' association, said that while players were disappointed with their deferred pay, they understood it's a part of the agreement.
"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."
Mills said it was the players' duty and obligation to keep the partnership with NZC alive and expected the situation to improve from 2013 onward.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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