LONDON: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is to cut 62 jobs because of the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the governing body announced Tuesday.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said that such measures would have been ‘unthinkable’ seven months ago but had been forced on the board by the coronavirus.
Harrison said English cricket has already lost more than 100 million pounds ($129 million, 108 million euros) — a figure that could rise to 200 million pounds next year if the pandemic continues to have an effect next season.
Proposals to reduce costs include a 20 percent cut of the workforce budget — a move that equates to the loss of 62 positions.
Although all the 18 men’s international matches scheduled for this season are set to be played, the board has still incurred heavy losses at a time when those fixtures and nearly all major county games have had to be played behind closed doors as a result of the pandemic.
The ECB instituted pay cuts back in April, with Harrison himself taking a 25 percent reduction in his salary and other employees seeing their wages reduced on a sliding scale from 10-20 percent.
But these cuts, which are in place until the end of October, have not been enough to stave off job losses.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has left cricket facing its most significant challenge of the modern era,” said Harrison. “There is also deep uncertainty about the future, and it is vital we take more steps now to ensure the future financial sustainability of cricket in England and Wales.”
Harrison added the ECB would need to become a ‘leaner and more agile organisation’ saying savings would only be possible ‘by reducing our headcount’. “These proposals include a 20 percent reduction in our workforce budget, which will equate to the removal of 62 roles from our structure.”
In another major development the ECB said all players who were offered contracts for the Women’s Hundred this year can renew their deal on the same terms for 2021.
The ECB said that players would get the option of rolling over their contracts into 2021 and sticking with their current team on the same pay, while those that turn it down can sign with other teams starting from October.
Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020