Former England cricket player and current managing director of Middlesex Cricket club, Angus Fraser, thinks some clubs in the sport could face serious financial repercussions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The effects of COVID-19 are being severely felt both in and outside the world of sport. Whilst thousands are forced to self-isolate at home, they are rendered to just watching replays of previous sporting fixtures due to none being able to take place at the moment.
Cricket is no different, with the entire season being placed on hold. As of Friday afternoon, the England and Wales cricket board [ECB] announced they plan to delay the start of the 2020 season until 28th May.
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That is of course no guarantee any cricket will be fit to take place by then either. As we continue to learn the severity of this virus, cricket could be put on hold for months to come but it will certainly be no earlier than late May.
Ex-England bowler and Middlesex director Angus Fraser gave his views on when action may resume, and what might be going through the heads of those associated with the ECB during what is an unprecedented situation for any sport.
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“We are all speculating and speculating doesn’t do anybody any favours. People are talking about playing until mid-October so maybe extending the season by two or three weeks there but if you suddenly have three and a half months you can fit quite a bit in.
“We are only going to really know when we do sit down and know what’s ahead of us, everything else before then is ‘could be’ kind of stuff. I think the ECB will be sitting down and thinking if we’ve got a three-month season or a four-month season, whatever it might be, this is what it might look like, I believe they probably have these formats laid out depending on when we are safe and everybody is allowed to go and watch and play the sport again.”
Fraser also discussed the potential financial impact this could have on some clubs.
“I think we are in slight survival mode and doing what’s best for the game. Obviously there are plenty of people that cherish the county championship, I understand that completely, but clubs and individuals are going to be challenged like never before because of what’s taking place.
“Cricket does need to prioritise. The biggest part of cricket money-wise is the TV contract, I suppose the ECB’s attempts to fulfil their contractual obligations, if we can fulfil them by playing the international duties we are supposed to be playing- a good hundred and a T20 competition- then large chunks of money that the game needs will come in.
"If all of sudden we start eating into those then the financial repercussions for some clubs could be very severe.”
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