10 Apr

The ECB has ring-fenced the £20m it has pledged to invest in women’s and girl’s cricket over the next two years as part of its 2019 action plan despite the financial impact of the pandemic. A major part of that plan involved the creation of eight semi-professional regional development centres, with a 50-over competition between the new teams due to start in late August. The crisis has delayed the process of launching those centres, as the ECB re-evaluates the details of the new domestic structure's first full season. It remains unclear when and if it will be possible to stage games this summer, and as such various different scenarios are being modelled. The initial financial commitment of £20million over two years leaves some room for flexibility – and most of that investment will take place in 2021 - but the intention to honour that pledge is a boost for the women's game at a time of uncertainty. "The ECB remains committed to the transforming women's and girls' cricket action plan, despite the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic," an ECB spokesperson said. "In light of the current health crisis we need to re-evaluate the logistics of the first year of the new elite domestic structure, both on the field and off the field - including player and staff recruitment, and fixture dates.  The England women's squad has taken a pay cut for the next three months, in line with their coaches and support staff.

Brian Sturgess


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