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ECB approves £35.7m financial package to support professional and recreational clubs

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has approved a £35.7 million financial package to support its professional and recreational clubs.

The board this week announced a package of financial measures to support the game and its clubs through the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped the package will support all levels of the game through what’s been an extremely difficult financial period.

So far no competitive play has been possible, both in the first class county game and recreational game, however, the ECB has said it’s confident league matches will be played in some form this summer if coronavirus cases continue to fall.

Following the initial interim financial support package of £61m, which was announced in March, the ECB has agreed to further expedite payments from across the distribution budgets planned for across 2020-21.

This includes the early release of six months (Aug-Jan) of core payments from the county partnership distributions to First Class Counties (FCCs). The early release of the remainder of the Hundred payments to FCCs and the MCC. While £5.5m will be made available to County Cricket Boards from August 1.

In addition to this £5.5m for the CCBs recreational clubs will continue to have access to the £20m available through the cricket club support loan scheme, grants through the ‘Return to Cricket’ scheme and a 12-month holiday on loan repayments for recreational clubs.

ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: “It is the ECB’s responsibility to protect the whole game’s future during the financial uncertainty we face as a sport.

“We continue to work closely with all levels of the game to understand the challenges that are being presented and to map out a plan for the future. While I am pleased the ECB Board has been able to approve this financial support package for the remainder of this year we are still only at the beginning of addressing the impact of this crisis on cricket.

“We still should not underestimate the significant financial burden that is ahead of us across all levels of the game. We must seek to reduce the cost base across the game, as we face up to the sobering reality of what lies ahead of us.

“The response we have seen within the game has been reassuring and I know how much a return to the field of play would mean to clubs and players of all ages across England and Wales.

“It remains our priority to get cricket started again this summer, from the grassroots to the elite level, and we will continue to work with Government to try and do in a way that keeps people safe but that limits the ongoing impact of this crisis on our game.”

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