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Fees waived as recreational cricket feels coronavirus strain

Callum Honeyman heaves through midwicket in the 2019 Village Cup final Getty Images

The ECB has urged county boards to waive affiliation fees for clubs up and down the land.

Despite the ECB announcing that no cricket - recreational or professional - will be played until the end of May at the earliest, several clubs reported attempts to chase up payments of the fees in recent days.

The fees are required from all clubs affiliated to the ECB and historically this process is managed and collected by the local cricket board or league rather than the ECB, with a focus on monitoring the safeguarding procedures that are in place for clubs. They range in value from around £40 to over £100 depending on what is provided by the Cricket Board as part of the payment.

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In a conference call to the boards on Wednesday, it is understood the ECB recommended that cricket boards look to support clubs financially in any way they can.

While many clubs will have paid well ahead of the season, thought will also be given to a tiered level of rebate depending on how much cricket is possible in the coming months.

Although the issue is largely symbolic - one club told ESPNcricinfo their fee was just £10 - the move reinforces the ECB's core message in recent days: everyone in the game, at every level, is in this together.

Last Friday, the ECB confirmed that its age-group programmes - All Stars and Dynamos Cricket - would remain suspended indefinitely.

Clubs were also sent guidance that loan repayments as part of the interest-free loan scheme, which provides capital for development projects, have been suspended until May 2021. That measure forms part of the ECB's £61 million package to ensure cricket in England and Wales can overcome the biggest challenge it has faced in the modern era.