Australia Test captain robbed for Maccas run
He'd just had his wallet stolen, but Test captain Tim Paine was still sure any potential pay cuts taken by Australia's cricketers would be a "small thing" to ensure cricket's health beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paine was woken at his Tasmanian home on Tuesday by a text from his bank alerting him to irregular purchases made at McDonalds on his credit card. He walked outside to see his car - on the street where it had been moved to make room for a garage gym - open and his wallet stolen.
The wicketkeeper laughed off the setback on Tuesday, while also keeping perspective as the world contends with the health and economic impacts of the deadly coronavirus.
Elite cricket in Australia has been relatively spared by the timing of the virus's spread, and Paine admitted not much had changed in his life as he enjoyed some rare downtime at home with his wife and kids.
Contract announcements have been delayed though, while the captain thought Tests in Bangladesh set for June appeared likely to be postponed or cancelled. Professionals playing Australian football codes have copped varying degrees of pay cuts and Paine said if it came to that for cricket he was sure his colleagues would understand.
"We're not yet (bracing for pay cuts), but discussions (about new contracts) will start to happen in next week or so," he said.
"There's a fair bit of water to go under the bridge in a cricket sense, but if things happen similar to what's happened in football and other sports we've certainly got to do our bit to make sure the game survives.
"If it comes to that, I'm sure that's something the players will look at. "But there's bigger issues going on around the world than how much our sportsmen are getting paid, so that'll be a small thing for us if it was to happen." A short-form tour of England is also scheduled for July, while Cricket Australia remains hopeful it will be able to go ahead with hosting the T20 World Cup from October.
India then arrive in Australia for the Test summer and England will follow in late 2021.
The inaugural world Test championship will be played between those series in June and is the only definitive focus for 35-year-old Paine, who won't put an expiration date on his career.
"I hope they don't push it back too far (because of the coronavirus) for my sake, that's for sure," Paine said.
"Players are certainly enjoying that points system and the fact that every Test counts and you're playing towards a premiership if you like. "So I think players would be in favour of finishing that any way we can but if it doesn't happen there's bigger issues in the world."
Originally published as Australia Test captain robbed for Maccas run