04 Apr

England’s centrally contracted players have agreed to make an initial donation of £500,000 to help the England and Wales Cricket Board and the charitable causes dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. The sum is equivalent to players taking a 20 per cent reduction in their monthly retainers for three months.

Tom Harrison, chief executive of the ECB, confirmed this week that England players would not be asked to take a pay cut but discussions with the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), the players and the governing body continue. Both Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, the Test and white-ball captains respectively, made clear that the players wanted to make a financial contribution.

It is understood that the players felt it would be more suitable to make a financial donation on the income they have already received than to take a salary cut, which would reduce the amount of tax they pay. There was also a feeling among the players that they wanted some control over how the money they were giving up was going to be spent. Harrison has warned that the English game could lose up to £300 million if there is no cricket this season.

Senior executives at the ECB have agreed to take pay cuts and many staff have been furloughed. Harrison wrote to the PCA last week to ask if players would consider taking a pay cut to help the financial situation of the game.

Most counties have furloughed non-playing staff and there are discussions between the counties and the PCA over players salaries.

England women have 20 centrally contracted players who have all volunteered to take a salary reduction. Heather Knight, the England women’s captain, who has signed up to be an NHS volunteer, along with England bowler Sophia Dunkley, said: “All the players felt like it was the right response in the current climate to take a pay cut in line with what our support staff are taking. We know how the current situation is affecting the game and we want to help as much as we can. We will be discussing with the ECB further ways we can help the game in the coming weeks.”

John Stephenson


* The email will not be published on the website.