Let’s admit the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has caught us all off guard, none of us were prepared for a catastrophe that would quarantine all of us. The same is true for the Cricket Boards across the globe.
International Cricket Council (ICC) along with all the cricket boards around the world has decided to postpone the matches in view of public health and safety. Besides, international matches the pandemic has disrupted cricket at various levels in all the countries. The Cricket Boards have had to make many a changes and are now bracing themselves up for a near future sans cricket.
Here’s how Cricket Boards are coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and the lock-down in their country in its aftermath:
Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI)
The Indian summers have now, for last 12 years, been reserved for the annual cricketing extravaganza, IPL. This year too it was supposed to played 29 March through 17 May. However, the T20 league, which was first postponed till 15th of April, has now been “postponed indefinitely” due to extension of lock-down in India till 3 of May.
In wake of the pandemic, the BCCI has contributed Rupees 510 million to Prime Minister’s Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund to help country fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Moreover, while other Cricket boards are contemplating pay cuts, the BCCI owing to its financial stability has cleared the quarterly dues of all its centrally contracted cricketers at the end of the financial year, including the match fees for the players who have played for India and India A.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)
The arrival of English spring marks the beginning of English cricket season, which continues till the the autumns. Had Covid-19 pandemic not pushed the country into a lock-down, the English Domestic cricket season would have been under way. But it couldn’t be!
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has called off all professional cricket till the end of May. The board has also committed to a 61 million pounds package to help cricket withstand the financial impact of the virus. This interim assistance will be available at every level of the game across counties, boards and clubs.
The Player’s Association has said that England’s centrally contracted male cricketers will donate 500,000 pounds to the board and charities while the women cricketers have volunteered for a 3-month pay cut amid the pandemic to help fight the cause.
Moreover, according to reports published in The Hindu, England skipper Joe Root has applied for furlough along with his Yorkshire teammates. Under the furlough scheme, the British government pays 80 per cent of wages — up to £2,500 — per month.
ECB is also exploring possibilities of cricket behind closed doors with coronavirus testing checkpoints and isolation units at grounds around the country.
England limited overs Captain Eoin Morgan, recently in an interview, suggested that England could play two teams at the same time to make most of the curtailed cricket season. (Read more about it)
Cricket Australia (CA)
Cricket Australia’s (CA) contract list announcement has been pushed back at least a month as the game prepares to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Officials had planned to bring forward announcement of contracts from May to April this year, in a bid to provide more certainty to the states given the flow-on effect.
However, the plan has been put on hold for now until the end of April, given the economic uncertainty due to the pandemic.
Moreover, there are also reports of the players taking a pay cut in the wake of economic uncertainty created by Covid-19 pandemic.
Australian Chief Coach Justin Langer has advocated cricket behind closed doors for the age-group cricket.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
PCB has converted Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in Karachi into a temporary lodging and boarding for the paramedic staff of Expo centre hospital to enable more effective and efficient help. PCB was pleased to offer this as a token of appreciation, acknowledgement and support for the unsung heroes.
The Pakistani contracted players were scheduled to undergo fitness tests on 23rd and 24th of March. Amid the lockdown, the PCB has decided to schedule the fitness test virtually on 20th and 21st of April to remind the players to keep working on their fitness at home during this lockdown.
The PCB announced that its players and staff are collectively donating PKR 5 million to the government’s emergency fund to help country fight against Covid-19.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)
BCB has announced a one-time financial aid of 30,0000 Taka to male players who are without central contracts or first-class contracts with the board. The board also paid a one-time allowance for 10,000 Taka to its women cricketers in order to help them through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The allowance will be for the women cricketers from 2018-19 National Cricket League and the BCB’s selection camps in 2019-20. A report suggests that at least 60 players will be covered with this financial aid.
Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SCB)
The SCB has granted LKR 25 million to the country’s government to help then in their fight against coronavirus pandemic.
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