ECB to cut 62 jobs as a result of COVID-19
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Tom Harrison became ECB chief executive in 2015.
Tom Harrison became ECB chief executive in 2015.

THE England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is to cut 62 jobs as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from chief executive Tom Harrison said the game will lose more than £100M this year, a figure which could rise to £200M next year.

Proposals to reduce costs include a 20% cut of the workforce budget, with every part of the ECB affected.

“Seven months ago, sharing a message of this nature was unthinkable,” said Harrison.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Harrison had warned of losses in excess of £300M.

These have been limited largely due to all of England men’s international schedules being able to take place, albeit behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment.

England Women are set to play five T20 internationals against West Indies Women and there have been domestic competitions held for both men and women.

However, the launch of The Hundred, the new 100-ball tournament for men and women, was postponed until 2021.

“Getting cricket back on this summer – at a recreational, domestic and international level, for both men and women – has been a remarkable achievement by everyone across the game,” said Harrison.

“It has been the result of true partnerships in action; across our first class counties and recreational game, from our broadcast and commercial partners and with Government and local public health agencies.”

However, Harrison also conceded action must be taken in order to “safeguard cricket’s long-term future”.

“The entire cricket network has pulled together to get us through this challenge so far and overcoming it will mean continuing to work in partnership and continuing to make tough decisions as we have done this year,” he said.

“We must reduce the cost base across the game – and that requires the ECB to lead the way by reducing its own cost base.”

Speaking to journalists before today’s decisive one-day international against Australia, England all-rounder Chris Woakes said the news is “incredibly sad” and will “resonate with the players”.

“There are a lot of people behind the scenes at the ECB who work incredibly hard and are important cogs in the wheel,” said Woakes.

“The current climate that we’re in, these sort of things are bound to happen in all sports around the world. It’s a sad time. It does resonate with the players. We feel that impact.”(BBC)

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