Burns not keen on shortened Shield season

Rob Forsaith
Queensland opener Joe Burns hopes the Sheffield Shield won't be affected by the COVID-19 response

Joe Burns hopes the Sheffield Shield will be spared from Cricket Australia's cost-cutting mission, also suggesting financially-driven schedule changes should not become permanent.

CA has stood down the vast majority of staff for the rest of the financial year, with many fearing the prospect of permanent job losses as chief executive Kevin Roberts seeks to reduce costs.

One idea believed to be on the table is a condensed domestic season for 2020-21, in which the Shield final plus two rounds would be scrapped.

"I love the fact we have a really strong first-class system. The 10 games, where you play everyone twice," Test opener Burns told reporters.

"It leads to world-class players coming into Test teams. You don't want to see that get changed.

"There's a lot of things to work through ... the players' association is consulted on those things."

CA has previously pushed to remove the Shield final, a five-day fixture so revered by players they demanded its future be guaranteed in 2017 as part of a bitter pay dispute.

The governing body remains locked in negotiations with the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) regarding player pay, dictated by a revenue-share model, because COVID-19 has cast doubt over how much the sport will rake in this summer.

Some state associations feel CA has created needless angst given its revenue is yet to be ruined, while Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have already slashed jobs.

CA's head of sports science and sports medicine Alex Kountouris is upbeat his department will not be badly affected by belt tightening.

"Everyone understands what's important and what level of service we need to provide for the players," Kountouris told AAP.

"I'm confident we're going to be fine when we get up and going again. We've still got physios, doctors and fitness staff working now.

"I haven't heard anything about what is going to happen beyond July 1, but I expect things will get better after that."

The Australian Cricket Council, a body featuring state and ACA representatives that was formed as per a recommendation from the scathing independent review of CA in 2018, is expected to meet soon and discuss the sport's finances.

Burns reiterated the view of several teammates and the ACA; that the revenue-share model was ideal for situations like the current health crisis.

But the 30-year-old did admit it was "pretty tough and pretty unique financial times" for CA.

Burns, whose Shield performances with Queensland helped him snare a spot at the top of the Test order and recent elevation to CA's national contract list, believed any schedule changes for 2020-21 would not be permanent.

"We navigate through next season and once the financials are in a really strong position, there will really be no need to start making adjustments to save on costs," he said.