Picture: 123RF / BRIAN JACKSON
Picture: 123RF / BRIAN JACKSON

Bengaluru — England’s cricket players have to “realise the bigger picture” and will be expected to take a pay cut as the country’s cricket governing body (ECB) tries to deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Times.

More than 662,700 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and 30,751 have died, according to the Reuters tally, and the outbreak has brought global sport to a virtual standstill.

England’s tour of Sri Lanka was cancelled earlier in March, and the ECB announced no professional cricket would be played until the end of May.

England’s home Test series against West Indies and Pakistan and limited-overs series with Australia from June to August are also at risk of being postponed or cancelled if the situation does not improve, leading to a further loss of revenue.

“We’re looking at everything about how the game can make savings,” The Times reported an ECB spokesperson as saying. “There’s a formal process to go through with centrally contracted players, but the game needs to pull together at this time. We believe the players realise the bigger picture.”

English players on central contracts have their salaries paid in full by the ECB, which awarded 10 Test contracts and 12 white-ball contracts in September 2019.

The Times reported that players such as Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler — who play for England in all three formats — would be expected to take pay cuts of about £200,000 during the three-month shutdown.