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Players will be accepting of pay cuts: Harris

Former Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris expects Australian players to accept salary cuts for the summer of 2020-21, as the financial effects of COVID-19 become more apparent on the sport.

Harris has been stood down from his talent pathway role with CA after three and a half years in the role, as has fellow former Australian Test player Chris Rogers as staff cutbacks continue to occur in Australian cricket.

Harris told Sports Drive on Wednesday that players will be accommodating to pay cuts for next summer.

“As far as I know that players are being very accommodating,” he said.

“I think credit has to go to the players on the discussions they are having. I think they are absolutely open to do whatever they need to help what is going on.”

Harris was critical of Cricket Australia’s handling of the situation, saying some of the financial hardship had been caused by poor investments.

“What I don’t agree with is Cricket Australia have struggled and made some bad investments; whatever it is with their money,” he said.

“The thought is then they go to the players and ask for money. I don’t agree with that. That’s the fault of Cricket Australia.”

The 40 year old still expects India to tour this summer despite current international travel restrictions.

“In Cricket Australia’s supposed current situation, I believe they are doing everything possible to get India out here for financial gain and getting Test cricket going,” Harris said.

“Afghanistan are meant to be coming out here for a one-off Test, that’s vitally important for development for around the world, particularly for Afghanistan playing cricket against us.”

Harris held grave fears for grassroots cricket with the lack of money now at Cricket Australia’s disposal.

“I do fear for it (grassroots). Chris (Rogers) and I have been a small part of setting up the talent pathway, there’s a lot of people above us that have worked really hard to create a pathway in to professional cricket,” He said.

“I fear for community cricket and club cricket, we are hearing of cuts at the top level for states, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that if the states are getting cuts then not enough of that money is going to get down to club cricket.”

An Adelaide native, Harris has applied for the vacant South Australian state coaching position, with an announcement on that role set to be delayed as the SACA undertakes a thorough external review of the state’s cricketing operations led by former Australian batsman Michael Hussey.

He also backed former Australian and Queensland teammate Usman Khawaja to respond strongly from his omission from the CA central contracts list.

“He’s really disappointed, I saw his comments the other day that he still believes he’s in the top six batsmen in the country. He’s got that belief that he is still a good player, he hasn’t had a great six to twelve months, he admits that," Harris said.

“He still has the hunger to play for Australia, he loves pulling on the baggy green cap. He just needs to go out next summer with Queensland and make a stack of runs.”

IMAGE: The Cricketer.


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