England cricket chiefs forced to make 20 per cent of employees redundant after being hit for more than £100m by Covid-19

CRICKET chiefs are being forced to decimate the game’s workforce because of losses caused by Covid-19 of more than £100million.

The ECB is to make redundant 20 per cent of its employees – that’s 62 jobs – and many counties will have to reduce playing and non-playing numbers.

All-rounder Chris Woakes says England players might have to accept a pay cut or pay freeze when the new central contracts are negotiated at the end of September.

But these deals are ring-fenced so it is unlikely top stars will take a reduction in salary, forfeit win bonuses, stay in worse hotels or no longer travel business class.

Some members of England’s backroom staff have already been told their jobs are safe.

Woakes said: “It does resonate with the players and, in the current climate, you have to expect anything.

"We’ve heard what’s going on elsewhere at the ECB so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

COR BLIMEY

Although playing matches behind closed doors saved the ECB more than £200m in TV revenue, losses will continue to rise if the pandemic disrupts the 2021 summer.

In other news, Jofra Archer has rejected claims made by Michael Holding that England have ignored the Black Lives Matter campaign in recent weeks.

Holding was critical of England for not taking a knee in the recent matches against Pakistan and Australia.

The Sky commentator said: "The ECB came out with a pretty lame statement.

"I didn’t hear anything from Pakistan – neither the players nor the board. Now I see another lame statement from the Australia captain.”

Commenting on Holding's statement, Archer said: "I’m pretty sure Michael Holding doesn’t know anything that is going on behind the scenes. I don’t think he has spoken to Tom Harrison (ECB chief executive).

“I’ve spoken to Tom and we have stuff running in the background. No-one here has forgotten about Black Lives Matter.

"I think it’s a bit harsh for Mikey not to do some research before criticising.”

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