The England and Wales Cricket Board has reported a loss of £16.1m for the past financial year, with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic reducing the organisation’s cash reserves to £2.2m.
Cricket as a whole in England and Wales accrued revenue losses of more than £100m, although that was still better than the worst-case scenario, which was avoided as a full men’s international programme and a solitary women’s series were held in bio-secure bubbles.
England’s men’s side hosted West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia across the formats between July and September 2020, while England Women welcomed West Indies for five T20 internationals in September – with all games held behind closed doors.
Scott Smith, chief financial officer at the ECB, said: “This has been a challenging year, but by being able to stage international cricket and by taking decisive action early in the pandemic, we have been able to support the network and avoid a far worse financial scenario.
“There remains considerable uncertainty over the year ahead, but we hope that delivering another full summer of cricket – and with crowds beginning to return from next week – we are able to protect the revenue we need to invest in growing our game.”
The £16.1m loss comes a year after the ECB recorded a profit of £6.5m, while its cash reserves have plummeted from in excess of £70m in 2016.
ECB revenue fell by £21m to £207m last year, with the postponed launch of The Hundred and the associated costs of setting up and maintaining the bio-secure international bubbles cited as factors.
The financial statement notes: “This fall in revenue and profit reflects the significant impact that Covid-19 has had on ECB’s finances due largely to the postponement of ECB’s new competition, The Hundred, until 2021 and the additional costs of creating bio-secure environments to host international cricket in a pandemic environment.”
England men face New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan across the formats this summer, starting with a two-Test series against the Black Caps from June 2, with the opener at Lord’s followed by a match at Edgbaston.
England Women’s summer programme includes games against India – including a one-off Test in Bristol between June 16-19 – and New Zealand.
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