The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the world and has brought an end to all sporting activities at the moment. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced a $75.5 million (£61 million) aid package in response to the coronavirus crisis in the UK on Tuesday.
Around $50 million (£40 million) will be made available immediately to the 18 first-class counties and their boards as well as the MCC. They will each receive a share of some in their respective bank accounts on Wednesday, with a further $25.5 million (£20 million) available in interest-free loans and grants.
ECB CEO Tom Harrison in a conference call said that it's no exaggeration to say that this is the biggest challenge the ECB have faced in the history of the game and the modern era certainly. He added that ECB won't know the full impact for a few months but they are trying to work around the clock to understand that impact and take some measures to help counties and clubs to get through the immediate impact. Harrison said that this was a once-in-a-generation scenario and preparations for it are extremely difficult.
All forms of cricket have been postponed in England until May 28 which has raised questions over the future of several competitions including the new The Hundred tournament, as well as tours by Australia, West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland. Harrison further said that ECB didn't want to make a decision too early as there were a number of scenarios. He added that there were huge implications in bringing international players and teams to England.
Meanwhile, Harison said that ECB didn't plan on cutting down the salaries of centrally contracted England players. But Harrison, who earns an annual salary of approximately £720,000 ($892,000), said he would join the rest of the administrators from other sports by taking a wage reduction. He made it clear that ECB will prioritize only lucrative tournaments like internationals, the Twenty20 Blast and the inaugural The Hundred.