Black Caps' upcoming tours in 'serious doubt' as NZC applies for wage subsidy scheme

The Black Caps’ winter tours of the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland and the West Indies are in serious doubt due to the ever-increasing strain the coronavirus pandemic is putting on the sporting world.

Source: 1 NEWS

Speaking to media today, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said it was "most unlikely" the Black Caps would proceed with their Northern Hemisphere and West Indies tours, planned for June and July. 

White added there were still question marks over the Black Caps' visit to Bangladesh, and the New Zealand A tour to India, both scheduled to start in August, but it was too early at this point to categorically rule them out.

"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.

"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."

White also confirmed the postponement of the White Ferns' trip to Sri Lanka, scheduled to start later this month.

NZC said it has applied for the Government's wage subsidy scheme to assist in navigating the next 12 weeks, with staff and management agreeing in the meantime 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 that, over the next few months, NZC would be working closely with all 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."