Turner questions opening borders for sport in Covid world

Glenn Turner
Glenn Turner. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Former New Zealand cricket captain and coach Glenn Turner has questioned opening borders for international sports teams during the Covid pandemic.

Turner was responding to Blues rugby chairman and New Zealand Cricket board member Don Mackinnon’s appeal for borders to be opened to avoid the financial hit which would come if the All Blacks, Silver Ferns and Black Caps matches cannot be played in 2020.

Turner said the focus on cricket in New Zealand was all about revenue for the top players.

"I know that 26.5% of New Zealand Cricket’s revenue is generated from professional cricket which goes to 116 contracted of its male cricketers.

"I’m led to believe that 55% of that money just goes to the top 20 players and the remaining 96 players receive 45%. Cricket is following our society: increasing the gap between the rich and the poor.

"Covid is globally widespread, so many believe we should close down the international game in the meantime and just make sure the domestic scene remains strong and use NZC’s reserve funds to keep it going.

"Our leading players are travelling abroad to the lucrative T20 leagues and making plenty of money. The chances are, for some reason, NZC may not have much in reserve funds and it requires money from an international programme."

Turner has given examples in his latest book Cricket’s Global Warming, suggesting NZC is paying large retainers to its top 20 players and allowing them to pick up contracts at New Zealand’s expense.

"So much of NZC money is reliant on what comes in from elsewhere to cover financial shortfalls which is perilous, to say the least.

"With the onset of global warming and climate breakdown on the rise, surely the excesses of greed and entitlement need serious attention. A reset of priorities is surely a must.

"Some of New Zealand’s top players can acquire as much if not more money in the Indian Premier League in six weeks than they can receive in 52 weeks with NZC.’’

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