An extra $1 million will be spent on player wellbeing and assisting the families of players joining BBL, WBBL and Sheffield Shield hubs this summer.
The Australian Cricketers Association is also giving one-off payments of $3500 to WBBL players who can’t perform jobs outside of cricket as part of a $3 million investment from the players.
Australian coach Justin Langer has put the mental wellbeing of all players at the top of the priority list this summer, with some going from a bubble in the Indian Premier League into a bubble for the international summer that could cut them off from family for months.
“We‘re going to have to be really careful with how we manage our players this summer,” Langer said.
“While some people won’t agree with it at times, our people, our players and staff are high priority for us to make sure they are healthy and happy.”
The WBBL is being played out of a hub in Sydney, with several teenagers and students in hotel accommodation for six weeks.
State players have also been in a Sheffield Shield bubble in Adelaide since last month, with one more round of matches to be played.
Australian coach Justin Langer says player wellbeing is ‘high priority’. Picture: AAP Image/Darren EnglandSource:AAP
Any players who need to leave their respective bubbles at any stage would be allowed to do so.
But the extra money committed to helping a player’s “husband, wife, partner and/or dependant children and the parent/guardian of any players under the age of 18” join them could prove the most important move of the summer.
There will $500,000 spent on facilitating the costs associated with family access for the 2020/21 WBBL, BBL and Sheffield Shield, with another $500,000 committed for additional player wellbeing measures.
The money comes from the player pool earned as part of the revenue share model agreed to after an acrimonious pay dispute in 2017.
Outgoing ACA boss Alistair Nicholson said the investment ensured players were well supported during a summer where time away from home and family will increase significantly because of the impacts of COVID-19 on the schedule.
Nicholson said the investment was also a strong indicator of cricket’s financial strength despite commentary that suggested the game was in a dire position.
“We’ve been able to work with Cricket Australia to invest back in the game at a time when many other sports have cut back,” he said.
“This has allowed us to recognise the incredible growth and success of the women’s game by increasing retainers for our domestic players while at the same time investing back into the quality of the men’s game in the BBL, allowing for an extended squad and an increase in each team’s retainer cap.”
Money will also be committed to help BBL teams fund a 19th player, with increases also now coming to players who take part in the women’s domestic competition through nearly $900,000 in extra payments.
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