Root expects discussions with ECB on pay cut; foresees possible no-cricket summer 

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to ruin the English summer and result in major financial losses.

Joe Root | GettyEngland Test captain Joe Root is prepared for the possibility of no cricket being played in the foreseeable future in UK because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), having already suspended the summer till the end of May, is hoping that the situation improves with time so it is in position to then salvage the profitable part of the season, but if that isn't possible, there will be major financial implications. 

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"It has definitely crossed my mind, it is a possibility," the Test skipper was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. "But I think we have to try to stay optimistic, try to take things day by day, not get too ahead of ourselves, we've just got to be ready for whenever that opportunity to play again is."

England is scheduled to host West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Ireland during the home summer. "We've got to stay fit, obviously can't do much in terms of actual practice, hitting balls and bowling and stuff like that," Root added. "Might be that my wife has to start giving me some throwdowns in the back garden but until things become that drastic it will be simply sit tight and wait."

"If that happens, then we'll just have to adapt, make the most of those circumstances as a cricket community by coming together and doing the best for the game."

To make up for the potential losses, even Root anticipates, there could be discussions held with players regarding potential pay cut from their salaries. 

"I'm sure at some point in the coming weeks there will be a discussion," he said. "That'll probably take place between the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association) and the ECB, and until those happen, that's not my area of expertise. I think we just have to concentrate on making sure we are as fit and as ready to go as we can be for whenever it is we get back to playing cricket."

Root said it's "frustrating" his team didn't get the opportunity to build on their 3-1 Test series success in South Africa during the tour of Sri Lanka where the scheduled two-match Test series was indefinitely postponed. 

"It is frustrating. There are more important things to concern ourselves with but, from a cricketing point of view, we were preparing ourselves well for the two Test matches in Sri Lanka and we made big strides in South Africa," he said.

"Of course, very different conditions but you saw how the warm-up games panned out and how the younger guys adapted with the bat and readied themselves for those Tests - it felt like we were in a very strong position to do something again."

"Going into the summer, the six Test matches [against West Indies and Pakistan] will be crucial points, as the home games seem to be really important in the Test championship," Root added. 

"It might be that changes now. When it comes to those games they might have to be rescheduled, play them abroad. I am sure there are a number of different scenarios we may have to find ourselves looking at down the line."

(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo)


By Kashish Chadha - 31 Mar, 2020

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