Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts is increasingly upbeat that India will arrive for a lucrative Test tour this summer, but has cautioned staff about the need for a cost-cutting drive.
Roberts spoke with CA's workers, the vast majority of which have been stood down for the rest of the financial year, during a regular video catch-up on Wednesday.
It's understood Roberts, who has led his organisation's productive talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, suggested there is reason to feel optimistic about the chances of Virat Kohli's team arriving later this year.
That tour will deliver $300 million in broadcast revenue to CA; possibly more if India agree to play additional ODIs as is being discussed.
The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) feels that India's arrival should avert a crisis, with chairman Greg Dyer arguing that CA's current push for cuts is a sign that "something is horribly wrong with the current model".
The governing body has warned that staging the Australia-India series will not be a panacea for all of its various COVID-19 financial woes.
Gate takings will obviously be down in the absence of crowds, while marketing firm Two Circles has projected the global sports sponsorship spend will fall by approximately $26 billion this year as businesses suffer in a stalled economy.
Roberts suggested to staff the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) season will not be shortened, a proposal that had drawn public opposition from star wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy and the ACA.
However, Roberts noted there remains a need to bring CA's spending down by approximately 25 per cent and that few parts of the business would escape untouched.
CA staff are keen to have more certainty regarding the prospect of redundancies, with some fearing they may not have a job to come back to on July 1.
CA is still trying to cut funding to its state associations by 25 per cent, a proposal that Cricket NSW and Queensland Cricket are yet to agree to.
Queensland Cricket is believed to be in the final stages of finalising a reduction in its staff.
Cricket Victoria, which recently cut a staggering 36 per cent of its workforce, has redeployed Lachie Stevens as coach of its women's side and WBBL franchise Melbourne Renegades.
Stevens had been serving as caretaker coach of Victoria's men's team since Andrew McDonald last year joined CA to become Justin Langer's right-hand man and likely successor.
Australian Associated Press