The moved is aimed at helping cash-strapped boards host cricket during the pandemic
The ICC has set up a USD $5 million fund to help members who are struggling with staging international cricket during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The Member Support Fund is available over the next three years and has been set up in response to the rising costs of staging cricket in bio-secure environments.
“There are boards currently who are struggling and are short of cash, who have said that they cannot host cricket as it needs to be during the pandemic,” an official told ESPNcricinfo. “Costs of arranging chartered flights, of ensuring hotels are fully biosecure, which means booking out entire hotels – these are all extra costs that some of the smaller boards have pointed to and said, either we have more money or we can’t do it. So it’s trying to help cricket carry on.”
The exact percentages have not been discussed but the ICC’s contribution will not go over 50% of the grant application. Each board will be required to make a business case for why they are asking for a grant.
Concerns over the financial fallout of a spate of cancelled or postponed bilateral series have been building over the last year. The postponement of the T20 World Cup, originally due to be played last year in October-November in Australia was also earmarked as a disruptive moment, given that a majority of cricket boards rely heavily on revenues from ICC events that are distributed to them twice a year.