London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday launched a scheme offering interest-free loans to its affiliated cricket leagues which are reeling from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 'League Emergency Loan Scheme' is aimed to support open-age and junior leagues affiliated to the ECB "partnership agreement via their County Cricket Board (CCB) or the National Asian Cricket Council (NACC), National Cricket Conference (NCC) or Afro-Caribbean Cricket Association (ACCA) in 2019 or 2020".
Under the scheme, a league will be able to apply for a loan of up to 50,000 pounds to cover a number of unrecoverable costs incurred for the 2020 season, the ECB said in a statement
The scheme will cover the cost of cricket balls purchased for the year, plus unrecoverable costs above 2,000 pounds in the 2020 season, which may include cost of booking of grounds, purchase of kit and equipment etc.
"We're pleased to be able to offer a new League Emergency Loan Scheme to help affiliated cricket leagues during the current shutdown of the sport," said ECB's Director of Participation and Growth, Nick Pryde.
"It has been great to see clubs receiving financial support through national and local government schemes, as well as through the ECB's emergency support funding, which launched last month, and now we are in a position to help leagues across England and Wales with the costs they will incur in 2020, regardless of whether cricket is able to return this summer," he added.
The ECB suspended all forms of professional cricket till 1 July due to the COVID-19 outbreak which has wreaked havoc globally but more so in the United Kingdom.
The board is expected to lose over 300 million pounds if the COVID-19 pandemic prevents the upcoming season from going ahead.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
The experts stressed on the need to strike a balance between bio-security bubbles and the avoidance of "excessive" mental health costs to the players.
The ECB on Monday withdrew its men's and women's teams from the tour of Pakistan, citing increased concerns about travelling to the region.
“I am severely disappointed in England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other,” Ramiz said in a video message.