England players agree 15% pay cut as pandemic hits ECB revenues

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Third One Day International - England v Australia
FILE PHOTO: Third One Day International - England v Australia

(Reuters) - England's cricket players on central contracts have agreed to take a 15% pay cut for 12 months due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on finances, the country's cricket board (ECB) said on Friday.

The pay cut is made up of match fees, win bonuses and retainers with the 12-month period starting from Oct. 1. The agreement was reached between the ECB and the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP).

"We need to recognise that our players, led by captains Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, have conducted themselves with great maturity and responsibility throughout this challenging time," England men's cricket managing director Ashley Giles said.

"We now want to build on this agreement and work together on a number of areas relating to player welfare, particularly mental health, which remains a high priority for all of us, as we continue to navigate a path through this pandemic."

England batsmen Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dom Sibley were among 12 players who were handed central test contracts while all-rounder Tom Curran's increment contract for white ball cricket was upgraded.

The ECB had previously said they had sustained losses of over 100 million pounds ($130.80 million) when professional cricket in the country was suspended for several months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The ECB had implemented short-term cost-cutting measures, including furloughing staff, significant pay reductions and a recruitment freeze at the onset of the financial crisis and said last month they were planning to make 62 positions redundant.

TEPP chairman Richard Bevan said the players had shown "great responsibility and unity with the wider game" in agreeing to take pay cuts during unprecedented times.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)