County cricket players to take ‘maximum’ wage reductions amid coronavirus crisis

County cricketers will take “maximum reductions” to their wages for April and May, and have agreed to waive £1 million in prize money this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A collective player agreement was determined between the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), the England and Wales Cricket Board, and the 18 first-class counties this week.

The move comes as all parties attempt to protect the domestic game.

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Players are also set to accept furlough measures by their teams if necessary, with Essex announcing they will utilise the Government’s job retention scheme for their playing staff and most of their off-field employees.

All cricket in the country has been suspended until 28 May at the earliest amid the Covid-19 crisis, and further postponements are expected.

The suspension led all parties to act in a move to reduce financial hardship where possible.

“The coronavirus pandemic will continue to put financial pressure on the game,” PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell said. “This initial two-month agreement will support the game for the period of April and May.

“We were due to start the County Championship season on Sunday and sadly for us all that will not be the case.

“As a group of players, we will do everything we can to ensure that, when cricket does return, the sport is in a position to thrive.”

Earlier this week, Yorkshire became the first county side to furlough their players and off-field staff in response to the crisis.

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