3 Apr 2020

NZ Cricket tours in 'serious doubt'

1:18 pm on 3 April 2020

The Black Caps upcoming tours are in serious doubt, while the White Ferns tour to Sri Lanka has also been postponed as New Zealand Cricket tracks the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Black Caps Kane Williamson and Trent Boult.

Photo: Photosport

The national men's side were scheduled to due to play matches in The Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland and the West Indies during June and July.

But NZC chief executive David White confirmed it was "most unlikely" those games would happen, while there were also question marks over the Black Caps visit to Bangladesh, and the New Zealand A tour to India, both scheduled during August.

"Clearly, this situation is extremely disappointing for everyone involved in sport but, given the bigger picture, and the terrible toll COVID-19 is taking worldwide, we need to look after not only our own people but the greater community good," White said on Friday.

"Cricket in New Zealand has been fortunate in that we were very much at the end of our home summer programme when this crisis struck.

"However, with the lockdown now in full force, we're mindful of the difficulties facing our cricket community.

"Our current focus is very much on ensuring the future sustainability of cricket in New Zealand."

NZC was applying to the government wage subsidy scheme to assist in navigating the next 12 weeks.

The application was to help the organisation to continue to pay their employees during the lockdown.

Additionally, NZC staff and management had agreed to essentially exhaust their leave entitlements over the balance of the financial year (to July 31) by switching to a four-day working week.

"We take our duty of care as an employer seriously and, at this juncture, want to avoid any changes to our employee headcount or remuneration levels," White said.

"However, we'll continue to closely monitor the effects on the wider cricket family."

White said over the next few months, NZC would work closely with its stakeholders to plan for the various scenarios that may be feasible next season, including community, domestic and international options.

"Although the future is uncertain, we're determined to be well-prepared for whatever opportunities arise."