County cricketers agree to take maximum pay cut amid coronavirus crisis

Lord's cricket ground. Photo: @HomeOfCricket
County cricketers in England have agreed to take maximum reduction in their salaries during April and May amid Covid-19 or coronavirus pandemic. The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) made the announcement on Wednesday after consulting the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).


The cricketers have also agreed to waive-off 1 million pound ($1.25 million) in prize money. The county championship, comprising four-day matches, was due to start on Sunday but English cricket is shut down until at least May 28, with the expectation of further postponements.


The PCA on Wednesday welcomed the collective player agreement, which covers an initial period of April and May.


"Discussions between the PCA, ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and 18 first-class counties reached a conclusion today with all parties supporting an initial two-month agreement that will see maximum reductions to player salaries and relinquishing of domestic prize money," the PCA said in a statement.

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PCA chairman on cricketers’ salary reduction

“The coronavirus pandemic will continue to put financial pressure on the game and this initial two-month agreement will support the game for the period of April and May, “said PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell.


The voluntary support package, according to PCA, is designed "to protect the domestic game" during the current financial uncertainty and was agreed following discussions between the counties.


"Like many industries, cricket recognises the challenges it currently faces; the players have been alert to the need for them to play their part," Mitchell said.


"We were due to start the County Championship season on Sunday and sadly for us all that will not be the case. As a group of players, we will do everything we can to ensure that when cricket does return the sport is in a position to thrive," he added.


PCA said that the waived prize money will be used to help counties implement the new 2020-2024 County Partnership Agreement, including supporting the introduction of standardised player contracts which will provide "vital financial support to players who leave the game in 2020 and beyond."


What county clubs said about the pay cut?

Champions Essex confirmed that the club's playing staff, along with most non-playing staff, had been placed on furlough.


A number of other clubs including Yorkshire and Worcestershire had previously confirmed they would be using the government's job retention scheme.


Earlier, ECB has announced a 61-million-pound package in response to the "once-in-a-generation" challenge.


England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison had warned of a potential 300 million-pound loss to the game should no cricket be possible this summer and already, the ECB has confirmed no cricket will be played until May 28.

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