Aussie cricket coach Justin Langer has lost one of his top lieutenants as Cricket Australia dropped a $40 million budget bomb.
Aussie cricket coach Justin Langer has lost one of his top lieutenants as Cricket Australia dropped a $40 million budget bomb.

Coach gone in $40m cricket wipe out

Cricket Australia has cut Australian batting coach Graeme Hick as part of its $40 million budget wipe out confirmed on Wednesday.

Hick is one of 40 employees to lose his job in the mass cull designed to slash $40 million off the governing body's annual balance sheet.

Cricket Australia confirmed on Wednesday that it intends to tighten its belt by cutting 40 positions, all financial bonuses for senior management and temporarily stopping future Australia A tours.

The Australian reported on Wednesday Hick, Langer's top batting adviser, is the highest profile employee to be cut from the national side.

Hick has been involved with the Aussie team for more than seven years.

Last year his position was reportedly tweaked to allow him to focus on more red ball cricket with Aussie legend Ricky Ponting called in to Langer's coaching squad to focus on Australia's limited-overs batting.

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According to the report assistant coach Andrew McDonald will now have to perform Hick's coaching responsibilities as well as his regular duties.

The Australian team's physiotherapist Kevin Sims has also reportedly lost his job.

Their departures came just 24 hours after former CEO Kevin Roberts was forced out and replaced by Nick Hockley as interim chief executive.

Aaron Finch with Graeme Hick.
Aaron Finch with Graeme Hick.

Hockley briefly addressed all CA staff on Wednesday, who were told their fate by department managers earlier on Wednesday, before fronting a press conference.

Some 200 workers were stood down by Roberts in April, when he cited fears the organisation would run out of money by August.

Redundancies have long been considered inevitable, but questions remained over how many jobs would go as the organisation braced for its revenue to take a hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CA said in a statement that the "positive impact of the JobKeeper program and an increasingly improved outlook for the season ahead have been recent factors considered in arriving at this final number (40)".

The organisation has vowed to reduce budgets in "administration, travel, marketing and advertising", cut bonuses for senior management and implement ongoing executive pay reductions.

Domestic cricket has been left untouched, with CA shelving plans to trim the length of the Sheffield Shield and women's Big Bash League.

Justin Langer is going to be working some impossibly long hours.
Justin Langer is going to be working some impossibly long hours.

But all Australia A tours and Cricket Australia XI fixtures have been paused. The national second XI competition is also on ice, as are programs for under-15 (male and female) and under-17 (male) representative teams.

"We recognise that this is a difficult time for Cricket Australia employees, particularly for those staff members affected by these redundancies and their families," CA chairman Earl Eddings said in a statement.

"However, our responsibility is clear.

"To navigate a path for cricket through this period of uncertainty and disruption to ensure we come out the other side sustainable in the short term and prosperous in the long term." Hockley described Wednesday as a "a difficult day for cricket". "But by pulling together and with more positive signs for the upcoming summer, the Australian cricket family can emerge from this pandemic stronger," he said.

- with AAP

Originally published as Coach gone in $40m cricket wipe out