The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) should consider a shortened County Championship season without overseas players for the next two years to offset the financial impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, suggests former England captain Michael Vaughan. Keeping in mind the havoc the pandemic has caused, the veteran cricketer feels the board should implement these tweaks asap to bear the brunt. Also Read - Daniel Vettori to Donate Part of Salary to Help BCB's Low Income Staff
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has already suspended all cricket activities till July 1 due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than three million people globally. The decision means nine rounds of County Championship fixtures is lost and if the season is scrapped completely, it will lead to a loss of 85 million pounds for the counties. Also Read - No Money to Pay Employees' Salaries: Delhi Govt Needs Rs 5,000 Crore From Centre, Writes to FM Seeking Immediate Assistance
“You have to look at every area where you can save a few quid,” Vaughan said on the Tuffers and Vaughan Show on BBC Radio 5 Live. Also Read - Watch: When Astrologer Bejan Daruwalla Said COVID-19 Will End By May 21
“Traditionalists will go mad at this, but these are unprecedented times. In the next two years, could you look at not having overseas players for the four-day game?”
Many counties have cancelled the contracts of several overseas players, including Indian cricketers such as Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin, in 2020.
The 45-year-old Vaughan, who’s also a commentator and analyst, also said that the number of games should be reduced from 14 to 10 in order to take care of the cost factor.
“Four-day cricket costs the game … It is a cost to the game that could, just for a couple of years, be worth reducing,” said the 45-year-old, who captained England in 51 of his 82 Tests.
“If you reduced it from 14 to 10 games, you’d miss the games but I don’t think it would be a huge problem for a couple of years. You could go back to that in two or three years.”
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, cricket in England has suffered to a large extent. England’s Tests against Sri Lanka in March was cancelled amid the outbreak. Recently, Eoin Morgan, England’s limited-overs skipper, stated that in order to provide the financial boost they are ready to field two different XIs for two matches simultaneously on the same day.