Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Yorkshire become first county to furlough cricket players

A general view of Headingley Stadium Credit: PA Images

Yorkshire have become the first county to furlough their players and cricket staff in response to the coronavirus crisis.

With the domestic season delayed until May 28 at present - and the expectation of further such postponements - discussions over pay reductions, deferrals and furlough options have been ongoing for some time with the 18 first-class counties and the Professional Cricketers' Association.

The PCA had been hoping to announce a collective agreement following a series of conference calls over the weekend but the White Rose county became the first to show its hand when it revealed the decision had been ratified at board level on Friday.

A statement read: "The Yorkshire County Cricket Club's players and cricket staff have been placed on furlough leave until further notice.

"This decision comes after the majority of the Club's non-playing staff were placed on furlough leave at the end of March in accordance with the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

"Following a Board meeting on Friday, the Club took the decision to furlough all players and coaches. Each player and member of staff in the cricket department were contacted individually by Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon on Friday night."

As with so many other businesses, and an increasing number of sports teams, the public purse will cover 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month during furlough. A spokesman confirmed to the PA news agency that the club was covering the remainder of all wages to ensure no employee suffers a loss in income.

Director of cricket Martyn Moxon, who contacted squad members individually on Friday to relay the news but continues to work as normal, said: "From a club point of view, we feel that these measures need to be taken to ensure as little damage as possible to the business.

"The players are disappointed not to be playing as they have worked hard during the winter and have been excited about the season ahead. However, they are all fully understanding of the club's decision and we hope that the situation improves as quickly as possible to ensure that everyone can resume some kind of normality as soon as possible."

England Test captain Joe Root, batsman Jonny Bairstow and spinner Adil Rashid are not affected by the news as they are centrally contracted by the ECB, but there are a series of high-profile players involved.

David Willey, Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth have all represented England in recent years, while South African Duanne Olivier is among the more high-profile Kolpak cricketers currently on the county scene.

More on this story