centrally contracted cricketers have agreed to make an "initial
donation" of £500 000 in response to the financial crisis
engulfing the game as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Friday's statement issued by the Professional Cricketers'
Association, the players' union, came just days after the England and
Wales Cricket Board said chief executive Tom Harrison had volunteered to
take a 25 percent pay cut.
Tuesday saw Harrison unveil the ECB's £61 million aid
package in response to the spread of Covid-19 which has seen the start
of the English season delayed until 28 May and placed question marks
over the future of lucrative incoming tours by the West Indies, Pakistan
But with the ECB placing some administrative staff on the British
government's reduced pay job retention furlough scheme, questions were
raised over whether the likes of Test captain Joe Root and all-rounder
Ben Stokes, who earns close to a £1 million a year from the ECB as a
star performer in red and white ball cricket, should accept a salary
reduction as well.
"Following a meeting today of all of the England men's centrally
contracted cricketers, the players have agreed to make an initial
donation of £500 000 to the ECB and to selected good causes," said a
statement issued by the PCA on behalf of England's Player Partnership
"The precise details of the charitable donation will be decided over the next week by the players."
The statement added the contribution was the "equivalent of all of
the England centrally contracted players taking a 20 percent reduction
in their monthly retainers for the next three months".
That 20 percent figure is significant because although Harrison, who
has warned a season without any cricket at all could cost the ECB a
whopping £300 million, said there were no plans to enforce a pay cut on
players, a letter from him to PCA chief executive Tony Irish, leaked to
the ESPNCricinfo website, showed him asking the players to accept a 20
"The players will continue to discuss with the ECB the challenging
situation faced by the game and society as a whole and will consider how
best to support the ECB and both the cricketing and wider community
going forward," Friday's statement added.
World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, asked on Wednesday if he would
accept a pay cut, said: "I'm extremely willing to help where I know it
will make a difference... I'm open to absolutely everything."
Meanwhile, England women's centrally contracted players, who earn
considerably less than their male counterparts, announced on Friday they
had volunteered a salary reduction for the next three months (April, May
and June) in line with their coaches and support staff.