ECB eyes India tour, Ashes to strengthen finances

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is eyeing the Indian Cricket team tour later this year to recover from financial deficits for the past two years. The Ashes at home will be the next big financial boost for the ECB.

India is scheduled to travel to England from July to September for a full tour involving five Tests, three one-day internationals and three T20 Internationals. England will hosts arch-rivals Australia for the Ashes series next year.

“We do operate on a four-year financial cycle with India and Australia’s incoming tours generating the greatest proportion of overall earnings,” an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“With those two tours to come in next two years, together with the additional revenue to come from the new media rights deal post 2020, the long-term financial picture remains positive. In the medium to long-term we’re projecting greater revenue growth which will help maintain reserves at a higher level.”

In fact, hosting an India series or the Ashes in England and Australia have become the only commercially viable Test options for any cricket board across the Test-playing nations.

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ECB has reported a loss of £30.2m ($41.1m) for 2017, which was marginally less than the £37.3m in 2016. The English cricket board is however optimistic that years 2018 and 2019 with the two major events marked on the calendar will prove to be as shot in the arm for its slumping financial health.

ECB is also eyeing the next years’ World Cup for the hosts to nourish its repository.

The losses have depleted ECB’s group reserves from £73.1m in 2016 to a mere £8.6m at the current stage. The ECB has generated a revenue of £125.5m in 2017, up from £118.9m in 2016. The governing body of cricket in England and Wales had earlier said that it seeks to keep its reserves at around 40 per cent of turnover.