England players donate, take pay cuts amid coronavirus shutdown
LONDON – England's centrally contracted male cricketers will donate £500,000 ($613,000) to the Board and charities while their women's team counterparts have volunteered a three-month pay cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the players' association (PCA) said.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28 and speculation has been mounting over how their leading players would respond to the situation.
"Following a meeting today of all of the England men’s centrally contracted cricketers, the players have agreed to make an initial donation of £0.5m to the ECB and to selected good causes ..." the Professional Cricketers’ Association said in a statement on Friday.
"This contribution is the equivalent of all of the England centrally contracted players taking a 20% reduction in their monthly retainers for the next three months.
"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 ECB's centrally contracted women players have volunteered to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June in line with their coaches and support staff.
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," added Knight, who has signed up with the National Health Service (NHS) as a volunteer.
The ECB has announced a 61 million pounds aid package to help the local game withstand the financial impact of the pandemic.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is currently auctioning the shirt he wore in England's 2019 World Cup final victory to raise funds for efforts to fight the coronavirus.