Gloucestershire: County expect to break even if no cricket played in 2020

Gloucestershire's Chris Dent
Chris Dent scored 1,087 runs in last summer's Championship to help Gloucestershire win promotion

Gloucestershire say they expect to be able to break even this year even if no cricket is played due to coronavirus.

Professional cricket has been postponed until at least 28 May as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) work on a revised schedule.

Chairman John Hollingdale and chief executive Will Brown say the club was in a "strong financial position".

"We have significantly reduced the number of staff and players actively working," their joint statement added.

"Through a combination of local and national government initiatives we have realised sizeable savings for the months of April and May.

"As a result of all of these measures, our financial projections show that, even on the worst case scenario of no cricket at all this season, the club should be able to break even this year and be ready to face the future in a strong financial position when this crisis has passed."

The club have also confirmed that India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will no longer be joining them in 2020.

The 32-year-old, who has previously had spells with Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, was signed for Gloucestershire's first six County Championship matches.

Along with Northamptonshire, they were due to play in Division One this summer for the first time since 2005 after winning promotion last season.

But the ECB is expected to favour white-ball cricket in its revised 2020 schedule, once sport is cleared to resume.

On Wednesday, players from all 18 counties agreed a voluntary "support package" that includes "maximum reductions" to salaries during the pandemic.

The Professional Cricketers' Association - together with the ECB and 18 first-class clubs - reached an initial agreement for April and May.

And Northants have confirmed that, like several other clubs including county champions Essex, they have furloughed their "playing and support staff" for that period.

Chief executive Ray Payne said: "We see this as a positive move that will help ensure longevity across the club in these unprecedented times.

"One thing that has always been at the forefront of our minds has been a 'one club' approach and thankfully everyone at the club has shared the vision of being in this together."

Division Two side Sussex have also now furloughed the majority of their playing staff and in an open letter to supporters, chief executive Rob Andrew wrote: "I have been very encouraged by the collaborative approach across the game as we face one of the biggest challenges possibly in the history of the game."

The PCA will also give up £1m in prize money for 2020.

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