England and Wales Cricket Board’s new appointed chairman Ian Watmore on Wednesday said the board could face financial crisis due to COVID-19 in 2021.
Watmore believes that the ECB could end up dealing with severe cash constraints if the COVID-19 causes a significant disruption next season. The 62-year-old succeeded Colin Graves as the new chairman of the ECB last week.
He also sounded optimistic saying that the board will be able to recover all the losses incurred within the 2020 season. At the same time that the problem could arise again next summer but in a more severe manner for the board.
“Provided we can get cricket back to somewhere near normality next season… we have four years to recover one year’s losses, where each of those years has double the income of the recent past,” Watmore wrote on the ECB’s website.
England has been the first among the Test playing nations to have resumed cricket after the coronavirus pandemic. Besides, they also staged Bob Willis Trophy and Vitality T20 Blast in the domestic circuit.
But Watmore’s focus is more on how the board will deal with the problems next season as he said:
“What is more concerning is the possibility that our next domestic season is severely disrupted by Covid too – with more cricket cancelled, played behind closed doors, or with very limited crowds. At this point, we will have two years of losses to recover with only three years left of the current funding cycle, coupled with very severe cash constraints, and a global game in crisis.”
Watmore has also said that the ECB has already informed all the stakeholders of the projected shortfall of £100 million this year. He also cited that the loss could margin up to £180 in the 2021 season. He also warned that the larger picture of the international cricket looks gloomy for a few years especially after the cancellation/postponement of the ICC events.