Broad: Test players must accept pay cut

“We’re just fortunate that we got some cricket in this summer because if we hadn’t, the whole game would have looked a complete mess”

Last Updated: 03/10/20 8:53pm

Stuart Broad celebrates taking the wicket of Mohammad Abbas of Pakistan during the second Test at the Ageas Bowl
Stuart Broad celebrates taking the wicket of Mohammad Abbas of Pakistan during the second Test at the Ageas Bowl

Stuart Broad says England’s leading players are “very open” to the prospect of pay cuts as part of ECB cost-cutting in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Broad, who became only the second England bowler to reach 500 Test wickets during their series against West Indies this summer, was among the elite group of players to receive new central contracts last week.

However, England director of cricket Ashley Giles has strongly hinted the value of those contracts is likely to be reduced as the game comes to terms with increased financial hardship.

The ECB – which has estimated a loss of £100m due to the pandemic – is due to make sweeping redundancies and Broad accepts that players’ salaries will also be affected.

“With the ECB having to potentially lose 60-odd staff, it would be wrong that the players stay on similar pay,” said Broad, who was named men’s Test player of the year at the NatWest Cricket Awards.

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Broad, David Willey and Dawid Malan have been named England’s Test, ODI and T20 Players of the Summer respectively
Broad, David Willey and Dawid Malan have been named England’s Test, ODI and T20 Players of the Summer respectively

“I think we do need to make pay cuts. I’ve not heard any official sort of numbers, but the players are very open to that sort of thing.

“We made a £500,000 donation at the start of lockdown, which the ECB were hugely appreciative of. I don’t think you’ll be getting any players complaining about taking more cuts because it’s in line with the world, isn’t it?

“It would be a really average feeling if we were not making sacrifices like the rest of the world, so I don’t think you’ll get too many people complaining of whatever comes our way.

“We’re just fortunate that we got some cricket in this summer because if we hadn’t, the whole game would have looked a complete mess.

Like Broad, Chris Woakes (L) was among the players awarded a central contract by the ECB last week
Like Broad, Chris Woakes (L) was among the players awarded a central contract by the ECB last week

“The players are fully aware of our responsibilities and will be very open to anything the ECB offer.”

For now, Broad and his England team-mates have no idea when they will next take to the field, with the logistics uncertain in a winter schedule that includes tours to South Africa, Sri Lanka and India.

However, the 34-year-old seamer is willing to play anywhere that involves the kind of bio-secure environment that was used to stage England’s Test clashes with West Indies and Pakistan, as well as limited-overs series against Ireland and Australia.

“Personally I would be happy to go to anywhere as long as it was a bio-secure, safe environment to play some cricket because it gave everyone a boost this summer,” he added.

Broad joined James Anderson (R) as the only other England bowler to take 500 Test wickets
Broad joined James Anderson (R) as the only other England bowler to take 500 Test wickets

“It has felt very secure. I don’t see a reason why we can’t do these bio-secure bubbles all around the world to get cricket on the screens.

“I know at the ECB (chief executive) Tom Harrison and Ashley Giles would never do anything to put the players or support staff in harm’s way.

“So if we got the go-ahead from the ECB, which I hope we do because I’m desperate to play some cricket this winter, I’m sure the players would be fully supportive of that.”

The first NatWest Cricket Awards, a combination of the PCA Awards and NatWest OSCAs, honours both the community cricket club heroes and professional stars of the season in one event that will celebrate the game from the ground up in recognition of an extraordinary year for the sport.

Source : Sky Sports