The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) has agreed to reallocate £1 million of domestic prize money towards player contracts for 2020, after reaching an agreement with the ECB and the 18 first-class counties in response to the COVID-19 outbreak that has already delayed the start of the county season.
Following discussions that were concluded on Wednesday, the three parties have also agreed on an initial two-month salary reduction for county players, in line with the 20 percent pay cuts already accepted by non-playing staff, with players also agreeing to being furloughed, if requested.
The measures follow a donation of £500,000 by England men’s contracted players, through the Team England Player Partnership, to the ECB and selected good causes. England’s women’s players also volunteered a salary reduction in line with their coaches and support staff.
“I am pleased we have reached a collective agreement between the PCA, ECB and the 18 first-class counties and I thank all parties for the collaborative spirit of these discussions particularly at this most challenging of times,” said Daryl Mitchell, the PCA chairman.
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“The understanding from our players and the willingness to help has been particularly heartening. Like many industries, cricket recognises the challenges it currently faces; the players have been alert to the need for them to play their part.”
The County Championship had been due to get underway this weekend, with the first round of fixtures slated for Easter Sunday, April 12. However, the season has already been postponed to May 28, with a further delay anticipated as the UK continues to implement social distancing measures to combat the spread of the virus.
“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,” Mitchell added.
“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.
“This prolonged period of isolation is challenging and the PCA remains committed to helping all our members through these times with our world-class welfare provisions.”