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Money games

There was a striking comment in an introductory blog on the ECB's website from new chairman, Ian Watmore, last month. Despite locked-in losses of more than GBP 100million, he wrote that the "financial day of reckoning" from coronavirus was still to come. It is a hugely troubling thought. After all, Covid-19 has already had a profound effect on the world game. Players have had to take wage cuts, a number of national boards are making staff redundant and looking to cut costs in other ways, bilateral series and World Cups have been cancelled or postponed. Yet, as Watmore points out, it is obvious that the longer-term financial consequences of Covid-19 are still to be fully understood. What is also clear, however, is that the pandemic has brought the game's inequitable financial model into even sharper focus. It is a model that has, in a number of respects, hugely favoured the 'big three' boards of India, England and Australia since 2015, creating an environment where the rest of the ICC's members are significantly disadvantaged and where competitive balance, the very essence of successful sporting engagement, is an afterthought. ........Read more