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Cricket

ECB unveil £61m rescue fund to stop clubs and counties going bust over coronavirus

Chief executive Tom Harrison describes the coronavirus pandemic as the “biggest crisis” in the history of the ECB.

Cricket chiefs are worried about how the lockdown will affect counties

And he pledged:

  • A total of £40million landing in the bank accounts of the 18 first-class counties and county cricket boards on Wednesday.
  • A further £21m in interest-free loans and grants to recreational clubs.
  • To take a pay cut from his £719,000 annual salary.
  • That the ECB are looking into furloughing staff.

Harrison said: “It’s no exaggeration to say this is the biggest challenge the ECB have faced in our history.

“The impact on sport is massive and we won’t know the full impact for a few months. Every person who works in the game will be impacted in some way.

“Public safety is the No1 priority. But we know the effects on us will be long-standing and very significant.

“We’re offering short-term steps to help the counties and clubs get through the immediate impact.”

The £40m comes from an early release of three months’ worth of their annual handout, which is normally paid monthly.

The ECB insists all the money is coming from their coffers with none needing to be borrowed.

Professional cricket has already been postponed until May 28 and the Test series against West Indies in June looks certain to be off.

The ECB are looking are various potential schedules – including playing some games behind closed doors – but the big fear is that the entire season is wiped out.

Ticket sales for the controversial new Hundred event have been frozen and it is looking increasingly likely the launch will be deferred until 2021.

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