SOMERSET County Cricket Club chief executive Gordon Hollins said that the coronavirus shutdown will have a "significant financial impact" despite the cost-cutting measures taken by the club.

Hollins said that 67 out of 76 members of staff have been placed on furlough leave by Somerset, but believes the remaining staff will have the club "fit for purpose" come cricket's return.

The 2020 County Championship season was scheduled to begin this month, but professional cricket in England has been suspended until May 28, at the earliest.

Hollins said: "Until we know how much of the season that we get, the financial damage is very difficult to project.

"All we do know, as with any business, is that the impact will be significant.

"It isn't just a case of losing a few quid and getting back to normal, it's going to be a significant impact.

"While we are continuing to take action that mitigates the damage that's being done, through cost controls and making sure that we get our costs down to an absolute minimum by furloughing 67 out of 76 people so we capitalise on the funding that's available from government, we're going to need support from our friends around Somerset cricket and the Somerset cricket community as a whole, to help us get this ship through the pretty stormy waters that we're going through.

"The precise impact won't be known for some time, but that doesn't mean that we're not taking action, because we certainly are doing that."

In terms of when cricket might return, Hollins said: "I'm in regular contact with the ECB and First-Class county chief executives.

"The law was changed a few weeks ago, that meant that rather than the government needing to stop an event happening, you have to actually get the government's approval for an event to happen now.

"So their policy on mass gatherings is critical. Without that, it's going to be very, very tough.

"But we anticipate that the lockdown will be lifted at some point, and that mass gatherings will be allowed to take place again.

"The ECB is working tirelessly to put together an international schedule, because without that you can't have a county schedule due to ground availability.

"Concurrently with that, they're doing some work on a domestic schedule, which will see the shape of the season change, and we don't know what to yet, but in a way that allows cricket to be played whenever the country is ready for it to be played.

"Within that they are also looking at the feasibility of behind closed doors matches, which is a back-up plan if we can't have mass gatherings at some point this summer.

"I'm expecting to hear what all that means over the coming weeks, and as soon as we know that we will communicate with our membership first and our broader community shortly thereafter.

"We'll be doing everything we can with the nine people that we have employed at the moment to ensure that when the season does begin, that we're fit for purpose and will hit the ground running."

Hollins added that SCCC membership packs are to be distributed within the next 10 days.

You can watch the full interview with Hollins here.