England cricketers agree pay cut to help ECB combat financial strife caused by coronavirus

Nick Hoult
·3 min read
England men's centrally contracted players have agreed a 15 per cent wage cut for 12 month - PA
England men's centrally contracted players have agreed a 15 per cent wage cut for 12 month - PA

Joe Root and Ben Stokes are among the England players who have agreed to a pay cut that is expected to cost them more than £100,000 each over the next 12 months. 

Centrally contracted players' base salaries, match fees and win bonuses are being reduced to help cover the England & Wales Cricket Board's £100m revenue loss so far this year.

The base wage has been reduced by around 10 per cent while the cuts to win bonuses and match fees are understood to be about 15 per cent.

England last month awarded 12 red ball and 12 white ball contracts to run for a year from Oct 1. Five players, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Stokes, Root and Chris Woakes, have both red and white ball contracts.

Test contracts were worth £650,000 with a white ball £275,000 before the agreed cuts. Players also earned £14,500 per Test match appearance and £4,500 for a white ball game. Win bonuses in Test cricket ranged between £44,100 and £176,000 per match, with a sliding scale depending on the opponents with Australia worth the most. 

Players receive a series win bonus too, which are worth one match bonus multiplied by the number of games in a series. The win bonuses have been halved but are only worth around 10 per cent of a contracted player’s overall pay.

This new deal protects the contracted players, such as Root and Stokes, more than it does those on the fringes of the team who do not have ECB deals. Players like Mark Wood or Jack Leach who are not on central contracts will earn money from tour fees, win bonuses and match fees but these have been cut by a larger percentage than salaries.

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The ECB have made 62 members of staff redundant, 20 percent of its workforce, following a summer of heavy losses.

The players accepted the cuts were coming and talks have been ongoing between the Team England Player Partnership, the body within the players’ union that represents England cricketers, and the ECB since the last round of central contracts were awarded.

“I would like to thank the players and TEPP for their collaboration, which has enabled us to reach this agreement. The relationship with our men's players and their representatives (TEPP) is strong, and we need to recognise that our players, led by captains Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, have conducted themselves with great maturity and responsibility throughout this challenging time,” said Ashley Giles, the England team director. “We now want to build on this agreement and work together on a number of areas relating to player welfare, particularly mental health, which remains a high priority for all of us, as we continue to navigate a path through this pandemic."

The players will now be assured of being available for full IPL seasons in future, where many will be able to make up any losses from their England salaries.

The ECB will also look to ease restrictions in biosecure bubbles to allow families to accompany players to make life a bit easier on the road.