We are acutely aware of the concern felt at all levels of the game about the financial implications of the suspension of cricket because of the virus.
We know you are worried about the effect on your club. You may have invested in new facilities that will now sit idle. Perhaps you were preparing for All Stars and Dynamos Cricket programmes that will now be delayed.
There will be sadness about missing out on the value that cricket brings to a local community by bringing people together through a shared love of the game. You may also be concerned about the impact a shortened season will have on your club finances.
I am writing to you today to let you know that we have put in place an interim support package for clubs at every level of the game, to help see you through the coming months.
We’re making available an extra budget of just over £20million to the recreational game. We anticipate that this support will be accessible for relevant cricket clubs and leagues within the next two weeks.
This support can be accessed in the following ways:
* A cricket club support loan scheme, with a 12-month repayment holiday
* Grants to recreational clubs through the “Return to Cricket” scheme
This is part of a £61m package of measures to support the whole sport. The ECB Board has approved plans to bring forward payments from a number of areas in its 2020-2021 planned distribution budgets.
There are also a range of other financial support packages that are available to recreational sport and we encourage local clubs and leagues to investigate their eligibility for these, which are available immediately subject to meeting the respective criteria.
These include, but are not limited to:
Government initiatives: Business Rates holiday, Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Statutory Sick Pay Rebate, HMRC Time to Pay Scheme, Business Interruption Loan Scheme;
Sport England: incl. £20M Community Emergency Fund
Sport Wales Emergency Relief Fund.
Please note there are criteria and conditions to support these initiatives available via the relevant websites.
In accordance with Government advice, the start of the cricket season has been delayed until further notice with a range of options for cricket to begin later in the summer being modelled.
We recognise that this situation is a long way from being resolved. We will continue to work with you to understand and help you meet the challenges you face. I want to thank everyone across cricket who is working tirelessly during this period of uncertainty. I understand how difficult a time this is for you.
Please be assured that all of us at the ECB and across the County network will keep supporting you so that together we can overcome this challenge to the game we all love.
Nick Pryde, Director of Participation and Growth, England & Wales Cricket Board.