England men's centrally contracted cricketers have agreed to a 15% pay cut for the 2020-21 season, following an agreement between the ECB and the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP), the body which represents the interests of the men's international squads.
The decision, which had been widely anticipated in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, comes after the ECB was forced to lay off 20% of its workforce, a total of 62 roles, in response to a financial hit in excess of £100 million for the 2020 season.
Last month, the ECB announced 12 red- and 12 white-ball contracts for the 12-month period from October 1, with five players - Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes - being awarded both.
Previously, a Test contract would have been worth £650,000, and a white-ball deal approximately £275,000 (with some performance and appearance-related elements factored into both) while the players stood to earn a further £14,500 per Test appearance, and £4,500 for each limited-overs match. Joe Root, as the England Test captain, also received a supplement of £175,000.
However, from the outset of the pandemic, England's players have been conscious of the need to play their part through an unprecedented period of uncertainty, and agreed back in April to make a voluntary contribution of £500,000 to the ECB and selected good causes - which was the equivalent of a 20% cut to their retainers for the first three months of the season.
According to a report in the Guardian, the agreement this time around is also understood to include a significant reduction in team win bonuses - which range between £44,100 and £176,400 per Test, depending on where the opposition sits in a five-tier system drawn up by the ECB, and between £11,000 and £58,800 in white-ball cricket, with additional bonuses for outright series victories.
"I would like to thank the players and TEPP for their collaboration, which has enabled us to reach this agreement," Ashley Giles, the England men's managing director, said. "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.
"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."
Richard Bevan, the TEPP chairman, added: "These are unprecedented times and once again the players have shown that they fully appreciate the important role they play in helping cricket emerge from this pandemic in as strong a position as possible. In agreeing to this revised remuneration package, they have shown great responsibility and unity with the wider game.
"TEPP would like to place on record our appreciation to the ECB for their cooperative approach in agreeing a way forward throughout these challenging circumstances."
Meanwhile at county level, Worcestershire have confirmed that they will be taking up the option of the government's new Job Support scheme, which will run for six months from November 1, with other clubs likely to follow suit. In a statement, Worcestershire said that they recouped approximately £500,000 after furloughing their staff at the height of the pandemic, an option that was taken by all but two counties this summer.