The multi-billion dollar global sports industry is staring at unprecedented financial fallout as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cricket is no exception. Players are expecting pay cuts, and cricket boards are surely gearing up for tough negotiations with broadcasters.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the first of the sport’s governing bodies to announce a relief package, worth 61 million pound to confront what they called the “biggest challenge in our history.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is betting big on conditions easing to allow the T20 World Cup in Australia to take place as scheduled—Oct 18-Nov 15—to help the game through the crisis.
In reply to a question by Hindustan Times on whether ICC too was considering pay cuts/layoffs, they said: “At this stage we’ve nothing to mention regarding finances, but you ought to understand that unlike leagues, etc., we aren’t reliant on weekly sport to sustain us; ICC events do this . immediately we’ve the posh of your time with 6.5 months to travel until our next planned major event.”
The Australian government, however, sealed the country’s borders till September 19, raising doubts about whether it’ll be possible to place the logistics in situ for an occasion sort of a World Cup .
“With reference to the venues, we’ve just used most of them for the women’s event (February 21-March 8) and are very comfortable with them,” the ICC said. “Additionally, we’ve an area organising committee on the bottom in Australia, along side Cricket Australia who manage this stuff on a day to day so we don’t consider this a problem . We are continuing to plan for the event in October.”
Even if the pandemic recedes in time for the ICC to carry its mega event, it’s going to face another challenge—the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Indian cricket board doesn’t overly believe the ICC’s revenue share, but it does depend upon the chest called the IPL. The league currently stands suspended till April 15, but officials admit that it’s unlikely that it could resume any time soon.
A BCCI official said that a rescheduled IPL’s best window is September-October.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan made an identical suggestion on Twitter: “I would play a 5 week tournament Sept/Oct including all players as a warm up for the T20 WC.”
A leading BCCI official echoed Vaughan’s sentiments. “Why should Indian players need to suffer any losses? They contribute to the revenue pool. And, the IPL isn’t cancelled, yet,” the official told HT.
If IPL 13 is cancelled, what quite financial fallout can the BCCI expect? Analysing publicly available figures, the Indian board stands to earn approximately a complete of around R2500 crores from the two-month IPL window, far more than its annual ICC share (R380 crores), and therefore the estimated R952 crores they’re expected to get from international action reception , if all 17 bilateral matches are held in 2020-21.
Here’s how the revenue found out works: the annual media rights for the IPL, paid by Star India, is R3270 crores. The title rights held by Vivo is for R440 crores per annum , and approximately R200 crores come from the seven central sponsors. that creates a central revenue pool of around R3910 crores—half of which matches on to the BCCI, and therefore the spouse is distributed among the eight franchises. The franchises refund 20 you look after this share to the BCCI, and spare another 20% of earnings from their own sponsorship deals AND circuit sales.
What happens to those deals if the IPL is cancelled? there’s no clarity on whether any a part of the board’s IPL earnings is insured.
“There’s no point in counting losses immediately . we’ll need to await subsequent government directive, before we reassess things” says BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal.