To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of first class cricket clubs to remain in business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This government’s multi-billion-pound package of business support has enabled many of our sports clubs to survive, but we know that the decision not to reopen stadia to spectators has had economic consequences for sports and clubs across the country who relied on those fans for income, including first class cricket clubs. We have asked sporting organisations, including the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), for detailed financial returns to see what support they need, and we will work at pace with them to understand the issues that organisations in the most challenging circumstances are facing and what support they may require.
The ECB has been a valued partner in both the creation and application of the guidance that has enabled the return of elite sporting competition.They successfully delivered a programme of behind closed doors sport to the highest standards of safety for competitors and support staff, securing broadcast revenue which will benefit the whole game at this challenging time.
I am grateful also to those clubs who have piloted the return of spectators so far. The Government will continue to work closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this. Ministers and officials will continue to engage with the ECB as part of this process.