England cricket body to cut 62 jobs as a result of Covid-19


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP)

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is to cut 62 jobs because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the governing body announced Tuesday.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement that such measures would have been "unthinkable" seven months ago but had been forced on the board by the coronavirus.

Harrison said English cricket has already lost more than £100 million ($129 million, 108 million euros) -- a figure that could rise to £200 million next year if the pandemic continues to have an effect next season.

Proposals to reduce costs include a 20 percent cut of the workforce budget -- a move that equates to the loss of 62 positions.

Although all the 18 men's international matches scheduled for this season are set to be played, the board has still incurred heavy losses at a time when those fixtures and nearly all major county games have had to be played behind closed doors as a result of the pandemic.

The ECB instituted pay cuts back in April, with Harrison himself taking a 25 percent reduction in his salary and other employees seeing their wages reduced on a sliding scale from 10-20 percent.

But these cuts, which are in place until the end of October, have not been enough to stave off job losses.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has left cricket facing its most significant challenge of the modern era," said Harrison.

"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."

Harrison added the ECB would need to become a "leaner and more agile organisation", saying savings would only be possible "by reducing our headcount".

"These proposals include a 20 percent reduction in our workforce budget, which will equate to the removal of 62 roles from our structure."

Harrison did not specify the areas in which the cuts would be made but said "every part of the ECB is affected by these changes" and that a collective consultation "will begin imminently".

ECB chiefs had hoped this season would see them capitalising on the boost provided by England's victory on home soil in the 2019 men's World Cup and the subsequent drawn Ashes series.

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

"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."