Ashley Giles, the ECB’s managing director of men’s cricket, has praised England’s centrally contracted players for their decision to donate £500,000 to the ECB and selected charities.
The PCA announced the voluntary agreement by the 16 men on central contracts last Friday, with their donation equivalent to a 20 per cent pay cut over the next three months.
The move followed the ECB’s announcement of temporary wage reductions for all its employees, with some staff being furloughed as the professional and recreational game deals with the financial disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis.
On Wednesday, county players agreed to wage reductions for April and May, with a collective agreement between the PCA, ECB and first-class counties also stating that players will agree to be furloughed if requested. The PCA has also relinquished £1m in prize money for 2020.
Giles highlighted that England’s “players are connected” to the difficulties being suffered by the ECB, and praised their “strong” contribution.
“I’m very proud of our players, full stop,” Giles said. “I think they are fantastic role models. I think what they’ve done in terms of contribution was strong.
“It’s important from a number of different aspects really. Firstly from a purely financial aspect, there are real concerns around the finances of the game, what they may look like if this continues. But more than that, the unity it shows across the game and certainly across the ECB. Across the business people have taken pay cuts, we have people on furlough and it shows the players are connected to that. But you wouldn’t be surprised because there are some very good people in there.
“I think they are very well connected with what’s going on in the wider society and this shows that. I think they are very aware as well that this is a first measure. We all might need to do more.
“We don’t know how far this will drag on. They [England players] might end up playing all their international cricket, which is great. But this is about the whole cricket business, really. And it shows they have an understanding of that and are willing to do their bit.”