FIRST Class Counties and recreational clubs are to receive a further support package of £35.7 million, the England & Wales Cricket Board has confirmed.

Following the initial financial support package of £61m, which was announced in March, the ECB Board has now approved a further package, expediting payments from across the 2020-2021 planned distribution budgets.

This approval comes "after detailed financial planning with the whole game and to support all levels of cricket during a period of extreme financial uncertainty".

Of that £35.7 million, £30.22 million will be made available to First Class Counties (including Somerset County Cricket Club) and the MCC on August 1.

This will be made up of: the early release of six months (August-January) of core payments from the County Partnership distributions to the counties; and the early release of the remainder of The Hundred payments to counties and the MCC.

The additional £5.5 million will be made available to County Cricket Boards on August 1, via the early release of six months (August-January) of core payments from the County Partnership distributions to those cricket boards.

Recreational clubs will continue to have access to the £20 million available through the cricket club support loan scheme, grants through the Return to Cricket scheme and a 12-month holiday on loan repayments for those clubs.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison commented: “It is the ECB’s responsibility to protect the whole game’s future during the financial uncertainty we face as a sport.

“We continue to work closely with all levels of the game to understand the challenges that are being presented and to map out a plan for the future.

"While I am pleased the ECB Board has been able to approve this financial support package for the remainder of this year, we are still only at the beginning of addressing the impact of this crisis on cricket.

“We still should not underestimate the significant financial burden that is ahead of us across all levels of the game.

"We must seek to reduce the cost base across the game, as we face up to the sobering reality of what lies ahead of us.

“The response we have seen within the game has been reassuring, and I know how much a return to the field of play would mean to clubs and players of all ages across England and Wales.

“It remains our priority to get cricket started again this summer, from the grassroots to the elite level, and we will continue to work with government to try and do so in a way that keeps people safe but that limits the ongoing impact of this crisis on our game.”