|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
January 31, 2013
Thirteen English counties have taken advantage of £1million loans offered by the ECB to help boost the domestic game.
In total, £18million is available between the counties who show evidence of a suitable business plan and the counties are required to meet certain targets relating to stadia and facilities, customer relations, community programmes and business operations.
Only five counties - Derbyshire, Durham, Essex, Nottinghamshire and Sussex - have yet to take advantage of the scheme but are expected to send business plans later in the year.
The loans will supplement the annual fee payments made to all 18 counties each year. Last year total expenditure on the domestic game was £49.1million, £42.6 million being fee payments to the counties.
ECB chairman Giles Clarke said: "With all sports facing increased competition for resources in a tougher economic climate, it is imperative that our first-class county clubs are financially robust, boast modern, spectator-friendly facilities and can continue to act as centres of sporting excellence within their local communities.
"The increased investment will help the First Class Counties plan for the future with greater confidence and implement a programme of change which will help make our domestic game even more attractive to spectators, broadcasters and sponsors alike."
There was also a further boost for community clubs badly hit by last year's wet weather with the ECB board allocating an extra $420,000 to the worst hit grounds.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The cricket world reacts to the passing away of Phillip Hughes
Likeable, hard-working and skilful, it was a matter of time before Phillip Hughes cemented his spot in the Australian Test team. Then, improbably and inconsolably, his time ran out
It is impossible to imagine how Sean Abbott must feel after sending down that bouncer to Phillip Hughes. While the cricket world hopes for Hughes' recovery, it should also ensure Abbott is supported
An early start to the international season, coupled with costly tickets, have kept the Australian public away from the cricket
The sickening blow that struck Phillip Hughes is a reminder of the ever-present dangers associated with facing fast bowlers, even while wearing a helmet
Pakistan have notched up some fine wins under Misbah-ul-Haq's leadership, but they haven't yet achieved consistent results outside the UAE
Going out to play cricket today would have been near enough to impossible. Even doing so next week in the nets and at the Gabba for the first Test will be difficult