The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a 61 million pound package to help the sport “withstand” the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but did not declare any immediate cut in the players’ salaries.
According to the ECB, financial assistance will be made available at every level of the game across counties, boards and clubs.
“We understand these are challenging times and it has been our priority to provide swift and immediate support to all members of the cricket family at every level in England and Wales,” Tom Harrison, chief executive officer of the ECB, said.
Around 40 million pounds will be made available immediately, with a further 21 million to follow in interest-free loans with a particular focus on ensuring that the game can survive at a recreational level.
“We are fully aware that the situation with COVID-19 will continue to develop, and it will be months before the full financial fallout is made clear.
We will continue work with all of our partners to protect the ongoing health of the entire game in the short term and beyond,” Harrison said.
Meanwhile Harrison said there were no plans to cut the pay of centrally contracted England players, though he warned that there would be more problems ahead if the pandemic caused the majority of the summer to be wiped out.
“We would like to thank everyone within the cricket network who is working tirelessly to protect the game during this period of uncertainty,” he said.
Last month, the ECB suspended all professional cricket till May 28, delaying the start of the new season, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, has claimed over 42,000 lives across the world while infecting more than 8,50,000. The United Kingdom has so far reported nearly 1800 deaths.
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