England cricketers to make contribution to good causes

England men’s centrally-contracted players will make a contribution of £500,000 to the England and Wales Cricket Board and selected good causes, the Professional Cricketers’ Association has announced.

Players are to forego the equivalent of 20 per cent of their retainers for the next three months in order to fund the gesture.

Additionally, centrally-contracted members of the women’s team have announced a voluntary reduction in their salary for April, May and June in line with those taken by coaches and support staff.

The announcement comes after several days of discussions over how the country’s leading cricketers might respond to the pandemic.

The agreement was reached during talks between members of the England team on Friday, with the possibility of further action to come.

A PCA statement said: “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.”

The details of the charitable donation are to be determined over the next week.

England women’s captain Heather Knight 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.”

The announcement from the players comes after the ECB’s chief executive Tom Harrison announced earlier this week he was volunteering a 25 per cent reduction in his salary as part of wider cost-saving measures, with similar moves expected throughout the county game.

Harrison said the coronavirus could pose “the biggest challenge in the history of the game”.

Some ECB staff will be asked to undertake a furlough period under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, while other employees are to be consulted on a reduction in salaries for two months.

Jos Buttler this week took the decision to auction the shirt he wore during the closing stages of last summer’s World Cup final win to raise money for two London hospitals.