Morgan agrees on pay cut to solve ECB’s problem

England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan has said he would be open to taking a pay cut in light of the financial issues the ECB and counties are facing because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cricbuzz reports. 

He also confirmed he was not aware that the ECB had written to the Professional Cricketers' Association over the weekend asking centrally contracted players to take a temporary 20% reduction to their salaries.

The Daily Mail and ESPN Cricinfo reported on Wednesday (April 1) that ECB chief executive Tom Harrison had written to Tony Irish, his counterpart at the PCA, asking for England players to set "a leadership example" by taking a voluntary pay cut. During a press conference on Wednesday morning, Morgan confirmed that he was unaware such a request had been made.

Asked whether he would be open to a pay cut, Morgan replied: "I'm extremely willing to help where I know it's going to make a difference. In the uncertain times at the moment, where nobody seems to have any answers of the actual impact it will have on international cricket, English cricket, I'm open to absolutely everything. I'm very aware how serious the situation is. I'm very aware that everybody will be affected within the game. I'm open to helping where and when I can."

Some of Morgan's teammates have been doing their bit in other ways. Joe Root has just announced he has become patron of Sheffield Children's Hospital while Jos Buttler is auctioning his World Cup final shirt for Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity. "It's an incredibly kind gesture. I'm not one for holding on to memorabilia. Other people are different," Morgan said. "The shirt will go for a lot of money and it should do. But the gesture within itself to aid new equipment to be bought is absolutely outstanding."

Morgan's mind has been taken off the current crisis somewhat by the birth of his first child, Leo, three weeks ago. With the start of the IPL delayed, Morgan is thankful for the extra time with his wife and young son. "I'm lucky in a way that we have had our first child so it allows me time at home to enjoy this period as much as I can," he said. "If the IPL comes, great. But there's bigger things to worry about at the moment."

How much cricket is played during the English season remains to be seen but Morgan would be willing to play behind closed doors if it meant some live sport could be played to help lift the spirits of the nation. "From a very serious point of view, if medical experts advised us that it was Ok to play behind closed doors and it was on TV, that would be a huge step forward for the game.

"Sport could play a huge role in uplifting the world and people's perspective on things. Isolation encourages idle minds. Sport can create that theatre and that level of expectation around what it's like to be outside again and be active. If it came to it, I think it would be a huge step forward."

England are due to play six T20Is during the summer, three against Australia and three against Pakistan, as they prepare for the T20 World Cup in October but Morgan admits planning for that tournament is now up in the air.

"Guys were going to the Pakistan league, the IPL, the Blast, The Hundred, and then you might have had some guys going to the Caribbean league," he said. "All of that is up in the air but every country is in the same boat. Managing how you look and perceive this period in your life is extremely important.

"It's a time for bunkering down, adhering to government regulations and looking after your family. Cricket is not at the forefront of everybody's thinking at the moment and there are more serious issues to think about. Obviously it upsets everybody's planning but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter."