The “match-fixing” controversy now is holding a potential threat to deliver ₹20 crore blows to Australian captain Steven Smith and his deputy David Warner. This could also cost coach Darren Lehmann, in the line of fire, his Cricket Australia contract worth $550,000 (₹ 3.5 crores) per annum.
These are pure cricketing revenues. The bigger impact of commercial tie-ups with brands does not reflect in these figures.
Coach Lehmann, according to English Daily Telegraph UK, has already offered to step down. Multiple reports suggest that Cricket Australia can slap a one-year ban on Smith and Warner.
Skipper Smith has got the best retainers contract from Cricket Australia worth $1.5 million, best for any international cricket captain. Warner is getting an annual retainership of $810,000. If the suspensions are confirmed the duo will also lose out on the prospect of playing 13 Tests, 24 one-day internationals and five T20 internationals the Baggy Greens are scheduled to play over the next one year. The Kangaroos are paid a match fee of approximately $ 14,000 for each Test, $ 7,000 per ODI and $ 5,000 for playing a T20 international. Any Australian cricketer, representing the country in all their international ties over the next one year, stands to gain $370,000 on account of match fee.
Smith and Warner are among the internationals to have received best deals from their respective Indian Premier League franchises – Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Smith’s IPL 2018 contract is valued at $1.85 million (₹ 12 crores) whereas the Hyderabad franchisee had retained Warner in a $1.92 million (₹12.5 crore deal). Their Big Bash annual contracts are tipped to be in the range of $150,000. The year-long suspension will take all these opportunities and assured revenues in one single blow.
Suspension, according to reports, can be imposed as early as on Wednesday when the Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland is scheduled to meet the CA’s Head of Integrity Iain Roy in Johannesburg.
Sydney Morning Herald has reported that “Smith, Warner and (Cameron) Bancroft, the players at the heart of the scandal – were set to be among the first players interviewed by Roy, who was endeavouring to paint a picture of how the ball-tampering plan was devised as well as the extent of others’ knowledge of it. The wider role of head coach Darren Lehman and his staff was also being examined.”
Smith has already stepped down as the Rajasthan Royals captain. Sunrisers Hyderabad are waiting to hear from the Board of Contol for Cricket in India before taking a call on Warner.
The heat may also burn the financial muscle of Cricket Australia, which is in the middle of renegotiating its broadcast rights. CA was reportedly expecting a bid of AUD $1 billion (₹ 5,000 cr approx.) for the next contract. Following the scandal, the deal now is expected to settle for AUD $600-700 million (₹3,000-3,500 cr).