London (AFP) – England’s centrally contracted cricketers have agreed to make an “initial donation” of £500,000 ($612,000) 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 ($76 million) aid package in response to the spread of COVID-19 which has seen the start of the English season delayed until May 28 and placed question marks over the future of lucrative incoming tours by the West Indies, Pakistan and Australia.
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 £0.5million to the ECB and to selected good causes,” said a statement issued by the PCA on behalf of England’s Player Partnership group.
“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