Almost all counties have already placed non-playing staff on the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.
The possibility of wide-reaching furloughs amongst county cricketers moved a step closer over the weekend after talks with the players’ union progressed.
With the domestic season in England postponed till a minimum of May 28 and a growing consensus that further postponements will soon be confirmed, the idea of standing down squad members has been under discussion across the first-class game.
Several counties have already placed non-playing staff on the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which sees 80 percent of monthly wages up to ₤2,500 covered by the public purse, and the problem is now set to move from the back office to the dressing room.
The PCA’s current recommendations to players are not to agree to any furloughs or wage reduction while the prospect of a more comprehensive collective bargain remains on the table. There is understood to be a sense of pragmatism on both sides, with efficiently non-active cricketers and financially depleted employers making for a troublesome combination.
While some of the better-off counties, including several of those boasting Test grounds, faceless immediate pressure and might choose to pay their team members as usual, for others, the possibility of outsourcing their payroll during the current furloughs could adequately safeguard their business.