ECB pledges a further £35.7million to support English game

The ECB has committed a further £35.7million to support professional and recreational cricket during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The support package, agreed by the ECB board in a bid to mitigate the financial issues caused by the suspension of the 2020 season, follows on from the initial sum of £61 million that was announced back in March.

The bulk of the figure, £30.22million, will be released to the first-class counties and MCC on August 1, and will comprise the early release of six months of core payments from the County Partnership, as well as the remainder of the annual payments of £1.3million that were promised to the counties with the establishment of the Hundred.

The remainder of the sum, £5.5 million, will be made available to the county boards on August 1, again from core payments from the County Partnership distributions.

In addition, recreational clubs will continue to have access to an interest-free pot of £20million through the ECB’s ‘Return to Cricket” scheme, and will also be given a 12-month holiday on loan repayments.

“It is the ECB’s responsibility to protect the whole game’s future during the financial uncertainty we face as a sport,” said Tom Harrison, the chief executive.

“We continue to work closely with all levels of the game to understand the challenges that are being presented and to map out a plan for the future. While I am pleased the ECB Board has been able to approve this financial support package for the remainder of this year we are still only at the beginning of addressing the impact of this crisis on cricket.

“We still should not underestimate the significant financial burden that is ahead of us across all levels of the game. We must seek to reduce the cost base across the game, as we face up to the sobering reality of what lies ahead of us.

“The response we have seen within the game has been reassuring and I know how much a return to the field of play would mean to clubs and players of all ages across England and Wales.

“It remains our priority to get cricket started again this summer, from the grassroots to the elite level, and we will continue to work with Government to try and do that in a way that keeps people safe but that limits the ongoing impact of this crisis on our game.”

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