The England and Wales Cricket Board have announced a £61million support package for the professional and recreational game as the sport wrestles with the potentially devastating financial fallout of coronavirus.
Professional cricket is suspended until at least May 28, and recreational cricket indefinitely, so the ECB has offered support at different levels of the game, from first-class counties to local clubs.
Around £40m has been made immediately available for:
- Early release of three months’ (May-July) county partnership distributions to FCCs and CCBs
- The immediate availability of two years’ facilities maintenance distribution
- Funds available unfettered and not restricted to facilities maintenance expenditure
- A further £5.5m to be made available for counties who are not eligible for 2020-2021 ordinary facilities maintenance distributions
- Suspension of international staging fees for four months and waiving of international staging fees payable in 2020 if the match is not played as scheduled due to COVID-19
The ECB also said that £20m would “become available to the recreational game through a cricket club support loan scheme, grants through the “Return to Cricket” scheme and a 12-month holiday on loan repayments for recreational clubs”.
"We would like to thank everyone within the cricket network who is working tirelessly to protect the game during this period of uncertainty,” said Tom Harrison, the ECB Chief Executive.
"We understand these are challenging times and it has been our priority to provide swift and immediate support to all members of the cricket family at every level in England and Wales.
"We are fully aware that the situation with COVID-19 will continue to develop, and it will be months before the full financial fallout is made clear. We will continue work with all of our partners to protect the ongoing health of the entire game in the short term and beyond.”