England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison will take a voluntary 25 per cent pay cut as the governing body announced a tightening of its purse strings amid the coronavirus crisis.
Cricket in this country has been placed on lockdown until at least May 28 but with fears heightened that the entire summer schedule could be lost, the ECB has announced a number of measures to help lower costs and safeguard jobs.
Some staff will be asked to undertake a furlough period under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, whereafter the ECB says it will “supplement to ensure staff receive 100 per cent of their reduced salary”.
Other employees will be consulted about a 10 to 25 per cent reduction in salaries for two months from April 1 while the executive management team and board will take a 20 per cent cut in wages.
Harrison said: “Cricket is facing the biggest challenge it has encountered in the modern era, and I am acutely aware of the hardships many across the cricket family are facing both on a personal and professional level.
“Our three guiding principles remain. Firstly, to ensure people’s safety, including everyone in the cricket family and our own ECB colleagues. Secondly, to protect cricket’s businesses, and the jobs of those who work within the game. And thirdly, to work in partnership through these unprecedented circumstances.
“I am extremely proud of the brilliant and passionate people who work at the ECB and their dedication during this crisis.
“But the challenge we are facing – not only in our sport but across the whole country – is exceptional and I know most organisations are having to make tough decisions.
“That being said, I am confident that through careful planning and by working together as a sport, we can get through this and see our wonderful sport and its communities thrive again in the very near future.”
Just a day after Harrison announced a £61million emergency stimulus package to keep counties and clubs afloat, Kent, Sussex and Somerset announced they would be furloughing the majority of their non-playing staff.
Meanwhile, England all-rounder Ben Stokes tweeted “utter lies” in response to a report his team-mates had turned down an invitation from the ECB in a letter to the Professional Cricketers’ Association to take a pay cut.
As previously confirmed by the PA news agency, centrally contracted England players will not be approached to take a pay cut but may discuss the option on a voluntary basis.
Limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan said in a statement: “The fast-moving and fluid evolution of the Covid-19 outbreak has posed challenges that were, until the last few weeks, unimaginable.
“Beyond the human disruption there will no doubt be long lasting effects on cricket and on society more broadly.
“The players take our responsibility to the game very seriously, with our primary focus being the health and wellbeing of the country and society as a whole. We will continue to act positively and proactively, supporting the ECB and indeed the entire game.”