County cricketers to take ‘maximum reductions’ in salaries for April and May

Hampshire players will be among those asked to take 'maximum reductions' in April and May salaries while county cricket remains suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.Hampshire players will be among those asked to take 'maximum reductions' in April and May salaries while county cricket remains suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.
Hampshire players will be among those asked to take 'maximum reductions' in April and May salaries while county cricket remains suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images. | Getty Images
County cricketers will take ‘maximum reductions’ in their salaries for April and May during the coronavirus crisis while they have agreed to waive £1million in prize money this year.

A collective player agreement has been thrashed out between the Professional Cricketers' Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the 18 first-class counties in a bid to protect the domestic game.

Players will also agree to be furloughed if asked by their county, with Essex announcing they will place their playing staff and majority of off-field personnel on the Government's job retention scheme.

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Yorkshire and Worcestershire had announced a similar move earlier this week.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to all cricket in this country being shut down until at least May 28 - and the expectation is there will be further postponements - leading all parties taking action to mitigate financial hardship.

A PCA statement said: ‘Discussions between the PCA, ECB and 18 first-class counties reached a conclusion with all parties supporting an initial two-month agreement that will see maximum reductions to player salaries and relinquishing of domestic prize money.

‘The agreement for an initial period of April and May will see players agree to being furloughed by their county, if requested, and also taking a reduction in their remuneration in order to be consistent with reductions that have been made to other non-playing staff at their county.’

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PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell added: ‘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.

‘We were due to start the County Championship season on Sunday and sadly for us all that will not be the case.

‘Like many industries, cricket recognises the challenges it currently faces; the players have been alert to the need for them to play their part.’

‘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.’

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Hampshire were originally due to start their Championship season against Kent at The Ageas Bowl on April 19.

That fixture has now fallen by the wayside along with the county’s next scheduled five first-class games - home matches against Yorkshire and Lancashire and four-day visits to Somerset, Warwickshire and Essex.

As it stands, Hampshire’s first game of 2020 will be a T20 Blast home clash with south coast rivals Sussex on May 29 - the day after the current suspension is due to end.