The England and Wales Cricket Board is to make a sweeping round of redundancies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with chief executive Tom Harrison describing the measures as “unthinkable”.
The game’s governing body believes the health crisis has already cost the wider game £100million, and estimates that figure could more than double if restrictions continue having an effect next season.
As a result, the ECB board has approved a 20 per cent reduction in its workforce budget, equating to 62 positions. Many of those will be existing staff being let go following a period of consultation, with a small number accounted for by ceasing recruitment for vacant roles.
The ECB instigated a series of paycuts back in April, with Harrison leading the way with a 25 per cent reduction and other employees on a sliding scale between 20 and 10 per cent. Those measures have remained in place until the end of October.
In a lengthy statement announcing the news, Harrison said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has left cricket facing its most significant challenge of the modern era.
“It is now an irrefutable fact that the impact of this pandemic is significant and will be long-lasting. 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.
“Given this new reality, if we are to safeguard cricket’s long-term future and still deliver on the growth ambitions of our Inspiring Generations strategy, it is clear the ECB will need to become a leaner and more agile organisation.
“Seven months ago, sharing a message of this nature was unthinkable. The position we had created to come together as a game and grow cricket on the back of a remarkable year in 2019 was truly game-changing. Our ambition and energy are unchanged, but how we get there now needs to look significantly different to what we originally planned for.
“I am extremely proud of the work everyone at the ECB and the wider county, county board and club network has done this summer. In the most trying of circumstances, with uncertainty the only guarantee, we have come together to deliver a compelling summer of cricket at all levels. When the pressure has been on, our sport has come together and shown cricket in its best light.
“Over the coming weeks we will be supporting our colleagues affected by these proposals as we seek to safeguard the future of our sport. We will share more news as this process progresses.”
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