Wellington: Facing a financial crisis, the New Zealand Cricket Board (NZC) has decided to keep a part of their national players' salary on hold for the next four years to ensure that domestic cricket is not affected during the crunch time.

NZC is aiming to cut the cost by $3 million after projecting a dip in revenues for the current financial year, ending July 31.

The reason for fall in income is appreciation of the local currency against the US dollar and poor gate receipts from international matches in the last one year.

The NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA) had signed an eight-year master agreement last year where the professional players received more money when the Board was doing well financially but would also endure the bad times.

"That (reducing the domestic schedule) would very much be a last possible option because we are a cricket organization and we want to preserve as much content and as much cricket as possible," NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said.

"We are looking in the region of trying to claw back about $3 million in cost savings. Ideally, we would do it through driving additional revenue but the US dollar rate doesn't help us and the market internationally is tough," Vaughan was quoted as saying by the 'Sunday Star-Times'.

NZCPA CEO Heath Mills promised to stand by the Board in facing the crisis.

"One of the key tenets of the master agreement, which we are very committed to upholding, is that when the game does well, the professional game - particularly the players - benefit and get a far greater share of the upside," Mills said.

"But the quid pro quo is that when the game hasn't gone so well and the revenues aren't what we expect, then the professional game and the players need to pick up the shortfall," he said.

"The amateur game - the grassroots level of the sport - has its funding protected now as part of the agreement."

"It's our duty and obligation to make sure we absorb the shortfall and we keep our partnership and master agreement with NZC alive," he added.

(Agencies)