The England and Wales Cricket Board if fearing that in a worst case scenario it might suffer damages of up to £ 380 million due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fear has been expressed by ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.
“We are still working out the impact of Covid-19,” Harrison is reported as saying. “We anticipate with no cricket this year a worst-case scenario could be as bad as £380 mn. That would be the loss of 800 days of cricket across all of our professional clubs and the ECB. That is the worst-case scenario for us this year.”
The ECB has deferred the launch of The Hundred league to the next year and there is no certainty about the forthcoming home series against the West Indies and Pakistan. All professional cricket in England is also put on hold till July. The series against the West Indies slated for June were to be followed by the Pakistan tour.
An optimistic Harrison though has stated that “With a following wind hopefully we will be able to play a significant number of Test matches this summer which would help us mitigate those financial losses that we are facing at the moment.”
Harrison is also confident that The Hundred will be a success when it is launched next year. “In terms of the position we put ourselves in for The Hundred, right at the moment Covid-19 struck, we were in a very, very strong place,” he said.
The ECB has already created a 61 million pound rescue package for the 18 county sides and has been offering grants and loans to recreational clubs, impacted by the outbreak.
“Cashflow is a very significant issue which we’ve tried to address as quickly as possible through the stimulus package we’ve put into the professional game,” Harrison said.
“We came into 2020 in the best financial state that county cricket had been in for several decades, frankly, and this has thrown that into some uncertainty. We will continue to work with the counties to make sure we get through this.”
Harrison also claimed that The Hundred, which has now been postponed to next year, was expected to make a profit of £ 11 million.