St John's, May 30: The Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Saturday announced a temporary 50 per cent reduction in salaries and cricket funding across the entire regional cricket system, effective from the start of July due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which resulted in the suspension of all the cricketing activities across the globe since March.
"This decision has been necessary in the face of debilitating economic challenges which have resulted from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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," the CWI said in a statement.
During 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.
"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," Skerritt said.
"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," he added.
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 per cent reduction in funding for Territorial Boards, Territorial Board Franchises and WIPA, as well as a 50 per cent cut in all retainers and allowances for Directors and Executive management.
Earlier in the day, CWI gave its approval for a 'bio-secure' Test tour to England.
West Indies were first slated to play three Tests against England in June, but the original starting date of the series was pushed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is looking to go ahead with the series against West Indies in July and then the Three Lions will play three Tests against Pakistan.