NEWS: ECB Hint At Reduction in Contracted England Players

Emails seen by CRICKETher possibly suggest that the ECB may be planning to reduce the number of contracted England players by almost a quarter, from 20-odd to just 16.

Currently there are officially 21 contracted players (though rumour has it (and you know how we love a rumour) that there are actually 22) which includes 3 players on “rookie” contracts, who are expected to train with the fully contracted players but are not paid a full-time living wage.

But two separate emails seen by CRICKETher suggest that when it comes to The Hundred, coaches will be selecting from a pool of just 16 centrally contracted England players – implying a reduction of five.

If so, this would bring the women more into line with the men, where there are generally around 15 centrally contracted players, though the men’s setup is split between separate red and white ball contracts, with some players holding just one and others both.

A year ago, this would have been very bad news for the five players losing their central deals. Although the players are paid for playing in the Kia Super League, it isn’t enough to support training full time, with the rest of the domestic setup being entirely amateur, and the players let go last year had just a few weeks to find jobs or literally face the dole queue.

However, the forthcoming changes to the setup of domestic cricket allow some scope for the ECB to make this reduction, because The Hundred and the newly aligned elite 20 and 50-over competitions are expected to pay a (small) full time wage, which could mean that the rookie players at least may actually be better off next year as a result; though if any fully contracted players were let go, they would probably have to take a hit, and they would lose their Kia Sportages – the lovely, big, shiny cars they get as part of Kia’s sponsorship deal with the ECB.

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3 thoughts on “NEWS: ECB Hint At Reduction in Contracted England Players

  1. Here we go again comparing the situation of women cricketers with that of the men’s. The men have their full time well paid county contracts to fall back on. There is nothing outside the England or 100 for women any more so the ecb are forcing women players back into the amateur world of balancing work training time and playing wherever they can get an unpaid game. How may I ask is that “ in line with the men”? If We want a competitive England team who are not too far behind other international teams then it needs to be seen in a different way to the men. Just saying.

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  2. It seems strange that you’re drawing much positive from this possible/probable development. It just seems pretty bad news to me. The women’s side need more contracted players across the formats than the men, because they don’t get much compensation outside the England structure, as the previous commenter says.

    Unless the ECB are planning to change the payment structure by using lots of un-contracted players, and accordingly pay big one-off match fees to those un-contracted players, then I fail to see how this can be seen as anything but a step backward.

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  3. This is another big step backwards. In light of the Aussie thrashing the fact they have numerous, professional players (at different levels of income) was mentioned many times during the series, outlining how far behind the Aussies ECB are.
    I know it will never happen, but it needs a different step back in time to something like an England U18/U19 team and U22/23 team as a creditable pathway to the full England team. Instead of an “Academy” team or “Junior Academy” which attracts a wide variety of levels of a varying standard. I know this will never happen, but after back tracking on the County set up (even though only a T20 comp) who knows?

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