12 May

Afghanistan and Ireland are two of the youngest full test status members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), joining just three years ago in 2017. As a result of not being established for very long they are having real trouble trying to find their feet in the sporting world ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic. When the strongest nations have been struggling, the situation for Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Cricket Ireland (CI) are really feeling the pressure on their already fragile finances.

The ACB finds itself in a situation where:

  • The Afghan team has had no lead sponsor since last year
  • The Clothing sponsor TYKA has also pulled out in the middle of their contract
  • ACB does not have any permanent broadcaster
  • Government funding has dried up
  • Possibility of reduced share of revenues from ICC if T20 World Cup does not go ahead.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo the salaries of the coaching staff, including Lance Klusener and HD Ackermann, have been cut by 25% in May and from June onwards this will increase to 50%. Not only this, the salaries of the contracted players may also face cuts if the financial situation does not improve as per the report.

ACB chief executive Lutfullah Stanikzai told ESPNcricinfo. “We have decided to cut 25% (of the salary for the coaches) for May, 50% for June if we are not able to resume international cricket. We will try and keep them for as long as our financial situation allows.”

Like Afghanistan Ireland is also facing similar issues although on a slightly lower scale. InsideSport the Indian website reported that the impact of the pandemic will shrink Ireland Cricket revenues by a “minimum” 25%, or roughly USD 2.7 million, in 2020.

“If you go back ten years ago our turnover would have been nothing more really than one or two million,” said CEO Warren Deutrom. “We were due to hit ten million or so this year, and we were at ten million last year, but we are certainly going to shrink by, we estimate, 25% this year.”

Cricket Ireland has already announced 20 to 25% pay cuts for the staff members. Contracted players will not be affected as they have already forfeited match fees and are likely to do so again as doubts hang even over the upcoming events.

John Stephenson


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