The coronavirus pandemic is posing a serious threat to multiple cricket boards as their finances could take a major hit and force them into bankruptcy. For more than a month, all cricketing action across the world has come to a standstill and the boards will await for the coronavirus pandemic to subside as they hope to lessen the losses they incur. Here are some more details that have emerged about the broadcasting landscape of the game being affected and it involves India as well.
In a report published by The Times of India, it has been revealed that the smaller boards of cricket like the Pakistan Cricket Board, Bangladesh Cricket Board, Cricket West Indies and more can get seriously affected if the coronavirus pandemic does not subside and cricket does not resume. An Industry executive explained that these boards are all currently out of broadcasting deals and no bidders are appearing to show interest. The Sony Sports Network might be the worst affected in India as it has the broadcast and digital rights of many of the matches played in countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies. It is believed that barring India and England, countries including Australia will be staring at a battle of survival for a long period of time even if the impact of the coronavirus pandemic reduces globally by the end of 2020.
The boards are running into extra trouble due to the uncertain future of the ICC World T20, which was supposed to be held in Australia at the end of the year. If the tournament gets cancelled, the boards will further lose the amount which they were going to be paid for the participation in the tournament.
Ehsan Mani's PCB is also reported to go through severe losses as they already lost money by calling off the PSL before the semi-finals. The PCB can now suffer further losses if the Asia Cup T20 is not conducted. The tournament, which was to be conducted in September, was reportedly set to be hosted by the Ehsan Mani-led PCB. "These boards will simply perish. How will they even honour their central contracts? No deals are going to happen this year, that's certain," the industry executive was quoted saying by the Times of India.
PCB chief Ehsan Mani recently appeared on the PCB podcast and commented on how the BCCI has not played cricket with Pakistan despite making promises in the past. The Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI's focus will, however, be on the IPL as the cash-rich league's cancellation may land heavy losses on the BCCI. The BCCI has currently announced that the IPL has been suspended until further notice. Coronavirus cases in the country are now at 14,676.