USA Cricket announced today a restructuring of the contracting model around the men’s national team, with a reduction in the number of centrally contracted cricketers to a core group of nine players, effective from next week, August 18th, 2020.
The restructuring has been driven primarily as a result of the uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both within the US and around the world. The pandemic has challenged the global cricket economy and playing calendar and has caused significant disruption to USA Cricket’s previously planned domestic and international playing schedules for 2020.
At the same time, USA Cricket has experienced a decrease in its forecasted revenue for 2020 and key future revenues remain uncertain in 2021 and beyond. As such, USA Cricket has taken action to ensure operational efficiency and cost savings across the entire business, including imposing a freeze on staff recruitment and a reduction in the salaries of its full-time employees and coaching staff.
At the request of the USA Cricket Board, the Men’s National Selection Panel met to select a core group of nine cricketers to be placed on central contracts until the end of the year. The nine players selected were chosen from the wider USA Cricket training squad and does not include those overseas players who have professional contracts elsewhere and who have recently played for the USA team on a tour by tour basis.
In a meeting with the contracted group of players yesterday, representatives of USA Cricket explained that this was a temporary measure and that the streamlined group would be contracted until December 31st, 2020. The situation will be reviewed again prior to the end of the year when it is hoped there would be more certainty about the playing calendar, high performance plans and budget for 2021.
Team USA Captain, Saurabh Netravalkar is among the list of nine contracted players that also includes many of the Team USA set-up that have played in the One Day Internationals so far in ICC Cricket World Cup League 2. Juan Theron, Steven Taylor, Monank Patel, Aaron Jones, Nisarg Patel, Akshay Homraj, Karima Gore and Nosthush Kenjige join Netravalkar to complete the full group.
“The USA Cricket Board identified that the restructuring of the contracting model around the men’s national team was an important exercise given the unprecedented events of 2020. We have not played any international cricket since February and we are currently uncertain as to when our next fixtures will be, whilst at the same time we are forecasting a decline in our current and future year revenues as a result of the pandemic” said USA Cricket Chairman Paraag Marathe. “We recognize the personal challenges which now face those players who have not been selected. However, the Board has not taken this decision lightly and we were pleased to be able to keep all of the contracted players in a full-time capacity through until the contract expiry date of 20 July, and further extended those contracts for an additional month in order to provide further support and notice to the playing group.”
Marathe continued, “USA Cricket remains on an exciting journey and the Board remains fully committed to developing and investing in a sustainable high-performance environment so that our men’s and women’s teams can deliver results on the international stage moving forward. However, these are challenging times for sports organizations around the world, and especially in the USA, and we have a responsibility to make difficult decisions to protect the future of the game. Unfortunately the pandemic has interrupted our journey and this action has become necessary, alongside other action which the Board has taken, to ensure that we are best placed to support the USA national teams in 2021 and beyond.”
USA Cricket centrally retained players until 31 December 2020:
Saurabh Netravalkar (Captain)