The worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 that has resulted in the temporary stoppage of cricket all around the world is threatening to push cricket boards towards near-bankruptcy in near future. There is no certainty when cricket will resume and if there is no possible solution in sight, boards such as Bangladesh Cricket Board, Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket and West Indies Cricket Board could suffer huge financial losses. Also Read - Coronavirus: Brazil Records 100,000 Deaths; Total Tally at 3 Million
A report in the Times of India Saturday suggests there are many factors involved for each board. The broadcast rights for SLC, PCB and WICB with Sony Pictures (Ten Sports) has ended, whereas the BCB’s world media rights – which were sold for nearly Rs 140 crore in 2014 – is due for renewal this year. South Africa were expecting income by hosting India for a series at home. Keeping these into consideration, things can go south for boards provided no cricket is played in the next six months. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases in Delhi Cross 1.45 Lakh-mark, Kejriwal Says Situation Under Control | Top Developments
“Simply put, other than India and to an extent England, the rest of the cricket world will be on a hand-to-mouth existence if this scenario continues. Nobody, not a single party (bidder) has shown interest,” a leading cricket industry executive told TOI. Also Read - Satish Shah Tested COVID-19 Positive in July, Was Admitted to Hospital, Now Under Home Quarantine
The WICB has found no bidders, nor has the PCB, who have already incurred losses due to the midway termination of the PSL. BCB will be left without a broadcaster once their existing deal runs out.
“In CSA’s case, it’s a bit different. After Graeme Smith took over as the director there, he visited India and discussed an arrangement where India would tour SA for a three-match series in August or September. Now, that doesn’t look like a possibility, even though they have a leading Indian broadcaster,” sources add.
The Caribbean Premier League remains a staple of WICB and generates a large chunk of their revenue. However, with no certainty over the league taking place this year, WICB could head towards financial catastrophe.
“Where will these boards earn from? The only other avenue to make up for the losses was through participation money in an ICC tournament. Each country earns a participation fee of around US$5m (approx. Rs 35 crore) or a little more than that from an ICC tournament. If T20 gets cancelled, they’ll lose this money too. The Asia Cup is unlikely to be held, so PCB – whose turn it was to host it – will end up losing substantially,” sources add.