Corona-hit cricket boards look at ICC and BCCI for survival

Corona-hit cricket boards look at ICC and BCCI for survival

In the wake of Covid-19, as the cricketing world comes to a standstill, most cricket boards are struggling to recover from their financial woes. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is about to hire a company that can provide the maximum amount for the TV broadcasting rights of their international matches. Cricket Australia (CA) has procured a loan of $50 million as a security cover for the series against India. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is also looking for a new broadcaster. Similarly, the West Indies Cricket Board has been in chaos since the end of the deal with Ten Sports last year. England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has clearly stated that if cricket does not happen this season, it will have to bear a huge loss of $300 million. The much-awaited ‘The Hundred’ league, which could have improved its financial position, had to be postponed due to the pandemic, and the management was forced to terminate players’ agreement.

However, the ECB’s condition is not as bad as that of other boards. It has the largest share in ICC revenue after BCCI. PCB found itself in a precarious position after it overlooked the clause of its agreement with the broadcaster for the two proposed home-series against India. It failed to realise that Team India had not visited Pakistan in the last 14 years. And the decision to visit Pakistan did not solely reside with the BCCI. Especially at a time when the relations between the two countries have been far from normal. Without approval from the Ministry of External Affairs, the series was all but a mirage. As a result, PCB lost a whopping amount of 60% from the broadcaster in the previous contract. On the other hand, Cricket Australia has deducted 25% of the grant to six states and has, owing to the existing stringency, also reduced 80% of the staff.

It has further raised one-fourth of the total loan of $200 million as loan security cover. West Indies Cricket Board has been in dire straits since the end of the deal with Ten Sports. The woes of suspension are hovering above the Caribbean Premier League as well. In such a situation, the rest of the cricket boards either start following the pattern of CA and PCB or insist the ICC that their bilateral series must be held with Team India in the coming months wherein BCCI plays a key role.