Taylor, Gilchrist predict big pay cuts for Australia players

first_imgSYDNEY (Reuters) – Former Australia captain Mark Taylor and wicket-keeping great Adam Gilchrist believepay cuts are inevitable for the country’s cricketers as the sport gears up to deal with the expected financialcrisis posed by the novel coronavirus.Cricket Australia (CA), the governing body of the sport, on Thursday announced plans to lay off almost 80% of itsstaff, putting them on 20% pay until June 30.Media reported on Saturday that CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts has told staff a financial crisis was coming andthe organisation would not have been able to pay its bills at the end of August without layoffs.Gilchrist, who retired in 2008 after a glittering career spanning almost 12 years, said the players were next.“Without being aware of any numbers and the financial side of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if we go back a decade ortwo to the level of payment that players get. Even maybe further for a while,” Gilchrist told ABC Grandstand onSunday.“It’s going to get stripped back, right back. Support staff numbers have to get dragged back.“The revenue is going to go down significantly, 50% they are banking on at the moment and that’s an optimisticposition, I believe. The players will take a whack.”The spread of the coronavirus has forced countries to close their borders and impose lockdowns. It has haltedprofessional cricket, leaving most boards bracing for significant revenue falls.This year’s lucrative Indian Premier League, which offers big pay cheques for the players, has also beenpostponed indefinitely.“There will be haircuts, as we’ve seen from CA staff. Players will be next,” Taylor, a former member of the CAboard, said on the Nine Network.“I also suspect that Cricket Australia and the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association) have been working togetheron this. I hope they get their heads together and sort out a good solution for the near future.”Cricket Australia would hope to earn significant revenue later this year when the country hosts the men’s Twenty20 World Cupin October and November before India’s tour for a widely anticipated four-test series around the New Year.“Six months is a long time. It may not be long enough in this pandemic, but it might be long enough to get some cricketin October which may save Cricket Australia and the players from taking too big a haircut,” Taylor said.“Cricket Australia are trying to be proactive and making a move early to hopefully save some pain later.”last_img read more

Cleveland Rocks: Browns reel in Thomas

first_imgThe old saying is, “You are what you eat.” Anyone looking for an additional exhibit of evidence for the adage can look no further than to Joe Thomas.Hours after reeling in a couple browns (trout), the Wisconsin left tackle became a Brown himself, as he was selected by Cleveland with the third overall pick in Saturday’s NFL draft. “It’s a great fit for me as a person, and I think the organization is great people. The coaches are outstanding,” Thomas told Wisconsin reporters during a teleconference shortly after he was selected. “I think the team’s got a lot of weapons, and we’ve got a good opportunity to win a lot of games next year.”Thomas will likely step into the left tackle spot for the Browns next season with the opportunity to shore up an offensive line that allowed the third-most sacks in the NFL last season. “I don’t know what they are going to do with me, play me at left tackle, right tackle or guard or whatnot,” Thomas said. “I’m sure in the next couple months that will all play out, so I’m not going to push it.”My expectation for myself is to be a starter that first game,” Thomas continued. Landing in Cleveland presents a unique challenge for Thomas. Outside of the Browns, the AFC North has three quality teams, which have made the playoffs at least once in the last two years. Despite that Thomas will likely be paving the way for a former 2,000-yard running back in Jamaal Lewis, any offensive task will not be easy in a division including traditionally stout defenses such as Baltimore and Pittsburgh.”My best games in college and the games I got the most excited for were playing against the great players,” Thomas said. “That’s what makes me so excited about playing in the NFL, having that great player lineup across from you every game and the tremendous preparation that’s involved in getting ready for each game.” Although Thomas’ agent and the Browns front office had been in contact often lately, there was still a level of uncertainty concerning whether he would be the Browns’ pick.”I kind of knew all along [that the Browns were interested],” Thomas explained. “Back in January, just kind of researching the teams, … they obviously had the need at the offensive line position, guys getting older, and they gave up a lot of sacks last year.”Even once Thomas received the draft-day call from Cleveland’s brass, his fate was not yet decided.”We got the call, and we didn’t really know for sure yet,” Thomas explained. “It was a scout from the Browns who just said, ‘Hey, we want to keep you on the line.'”Thomas stayed on the phone for six minutes as the Browns made their final decision on who to draft.”You could hear Phil Savage, the general manager, talking about both myself and [Notre Dame quarterback] Brady Quinn in the background, so at that point they really didn’t know who they would pick.”Right at the end, … Phil Savage came on and said they turned in their card with my name on it.”Although the Browns’ choice of Thomas over the Ohio-native Quinn sparked some anger among Browns fans at the time, the team ended up trading picks with Dallas to draft the quarterback later in the first round.”I think historically at the draft you’re not going to make everybody happy. … Wherever I ended up, I knew I wasn’t going to be the glamour pick. Whenever you pick an offensive lineman high, he’s not the glamour pick.”Everyone wants the cute quarterback or the fast, quick receiver,” Thomas said. Aside from the regular excitement being drafted high carries, Thomas seemed legitimately happy to be going to Cleveland.”I’m excited. I think, to be able to stay in the Midwest, to be able to go to a city like Cleveland, which has tremendous professional athletic fans,” Thomas said. “It’s a meat-and-potatoes town, a blue-collar town — a lot like Milwaukee.”last_img read more