Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler also revealed that the donation made by the England team in support of the ECB is to keep recreational cricket afloat.
Last week, England’s centrally contracted players announced a donation of £500,000, equivalent to a 20 percent pay cut for three months to tackle the current crisis. With the start of the English season delayed until 28 May, there is an uncertainly looming over the scheduled tours as well as The Hundred – a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament, which is slated to take place in July this year.
“Everybody is very aware of our duty as players to contribute where we can,” said Buttler. “I think the Hundred’s a big thing that may or may not happen this summer. It may get delayed. I know a lot of investment has gone into that.
“But as players we’re all very aware of the other effects this is going to have drip-feeding down into the game. Without grassroots’ cricket, we’re nothing really.”
Buttler explained that instead of pouring money in covering the shortfalls at professional level, it can be used at the base level to strengthen the foundation and keep the game alive.
“I hope the money can be used in all the areas where it is really needed. There are so many different areas that are going to be affected – grassroots, youth coaching and disability sports.
“I know the players are very strong on wanting that money to help that grassroots’ structure and pathway because we need to bring people into the game and make sure that is very strong,” he added.
The 29-year-old also raised £65,000 by auctioning off his World Cup final shirt, an amount he was pleasantly surprised with. Buttler had worn the shirt completing the last-ball run-out that handed England their first men’s World Cup title in July last year. The shirt was sold to raise money for specialist heart and lung centres provided by the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals in London.
“It’s a very special shirt but I think it takes on extra meaning with it being able to hopefully go to the emergency cause. I probably took it [the shirt] off about 7am the next morning. They were great times … headed back to the hotel bar with everyone still in full kit. It’s seen it all, that shirt.
“I think £65,000 is an amazing amount of money and, having spoken to the guys at the hospitals, I know what that can buy them. That’s an ECMO (extra corporeal membrane oxygenation) machine. That machine is vital not just for Covid-19 patients but all heart and lung patients.”