How Much Money Does it take the ICC to Host a Cricket World Cup? (Case Study)

Apr 27, 2024 | Article Index, Finances & Cricket

In this post, we will analyze the Consolidated Financial Statement of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the year 2021-2022.

This will help us provide an insight into the workings of the ICC and help us answer questions like:

  • How much does it cost the ICC to host a World Cup?
  • How much revenue does the ICC make from global tournaments?
  • Why has there been a recent influx in World Cups?

I read this 39 page document so you don’t have to.

Let me break it down for you.

Key Takeaways

  • The ICC earned about 95.59% of their annual revenue from ICC events in 2022 ($412,862,000 out of $431,929,000). In 2021, ICC events contributed to 93.38% of their annual income ($432,146,000 out of 462,767,000).
  • On the flip side, ICC events contributed the organization 75.27% of their expenditures in 2022 ($168,262,000 out of $223,554,000) and only 70.37% in 2021 ($96,510,000 out of $137,160,000).
  • The ICC has been profitable with total comprehensive income of $208,375,000 in 2022 and $325,607,000 in 2021 respectively. Adding prior years surplus and general reserves, ICC had a total surplus of $912,999,000 as of 31st December, 2022.
  • In 2021-2022, senior Men’s ICC tournaments added a profit (+ $602,968,000) to the ICC, while senior Women’s ICC tournaments (– $15,160,000) and U-19 ICC tournaments for both men & women combined (– $7,011,011) led to losses.
  • The ‘Advance to Full Members’ was $693,331,000 in 2022 and $513,331,000 in 2022 & 2021 respectively, while ‘Advance Allocated to Associate Member’s was $89,716,000 and $66,275,000 in the same period.

Total Revenue Generated from ‘Commercial’ ICC Events (2021-2022)

Now we look at the 2021-2022 tournament breakdown.

ICC EventRevenueExpensesTotal Income
2021 World Test Championship (WTC) Final$36,318,000$12,469,000+ $23,849,000
2021 T20 World Cup (Men’s)$383,624,000$65,699,000+ $317,925,000
2022 U19 World Cup (Men’s)$13,822,000$19,028,000– $5,206,000
2022 ODI World Cup (Women’s)$24,316,000$35,025,000– $10,709,000
2022 T20 World Cup (Men’s)$354,795,000$84,589,000+ $270,206,000
Value in Kind* (2021)$12,204,000$12,204,000$0
Value in Kind (2022) $19,929,000$19,929,000$0
Total+ $845,008,000– $248,943,000+ 596,065,000

*Definition in the glossary at the bottom of the article

This table reveals quite a bit of information. What have we learned here?

  • The ICC takes a hit financially while hosting the Women’s World Cup and U-19 World Cups.
  • The 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was the most profitable tournament for the ICC in the last couple of years.

It would be interesting to see how much the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup earned when the next round of financials come out.

Total Revenue Generated from ‘Pathway’ ICC Events (2021-2022)

But wait, there is more.

ICC also helps fund the global and regional tournaments. They are not considered ‘commercial’ events.

ICC EventExpenses
2021 ODI World Cup Qualifier (Women’s)$2,208,000
2021 T20 World Cup Regional Qualifiers (Women’s)$1,518,000
2021 T20 World Cup Regional Qualifiers (Men’s)$1,794,000
2021 CWC League 2 (Men’s)$314,000
2022 Women’s Championship$30,000
2022 Commonwealth Games Qualifier (Women’s)$257,000
2022 T20 World Cup Regional Qualifiers (Women’s)$695,000
2022 U19 T20 World Cup Qualifier (Women’s)$828,000
2022 U19 World Cup Qualifier (Men’s)$977,000
2022 T20 World Cup Qualifier (Men’s)$1,138,000
2022 CWC Challenge League (Men’s)$1,549,000
2022 T20 Regional’s Qualifier’s (Men’s)$1,902,000
2022 CWC League 2 (Men’s)$2,315,000
Total– $15,525,000

We can clearly see that these pathway tournaments do not earn ICC big profits.

In essence, they virtually treat these global and regional qualifiers as investments for the growth of the game.

Long Term View: How Has Net Income from ICC Tournament’s Changed Over the Years?

Have you wondered why we have had an influx of ICC tournaments in recent times?

Let’s jog back our memories. In men’s senior tournaments alone, we have had:

  • 2024 T20 World Cup
  • 2023 ODI World Cup
  • 2023 World Test Championship Final
  • 2022 T20 World Cup
  • 2021 T20 World Cup
  • 2021 World Test Championship Final
  • 2019 ODI World Cup

The clear and simple answer is: ICC tournaments (especially senior men’s tournaments) contribute majority of the earnings to the ICC.

We can see from this chart, that there were peaks during 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019, when the Men’s ODI World Cup took place (2007 had both the ODI and the T20 World Cup in the same year).

Even though the ODI format has received criticism in recent times, it is here to stay as the ODI World Cup generates a lot of wealth for the ICC (both the 2017 ODI Women’s World Cup and the Champions Trophy did very well financially).

On the other hand, we can see that the ICC took a hit in 2008 & 2018, two years when no major men’s ICC tournament took place. 2020 was an aberration due to the COVID, but the +$384,000 they did earn was due to the profitability of the Women’s T20 World Cup that broke barriers.

Why Did the ODI World Cup Shrink to 10 Teams?

According to this chart from ICC’s 2007/08 Annual Report, we can see that most of ICC’s money comes from these events. Even in 2007, ICC earned 93.66% of their revenue through events. Most of their costs are distribution of funds to the Members.

If cricket is to grow around the world, the ICC needs to be profitable year after year.

And here lies the double-edged sword of running an international sporting organization. We have often criticized the ICC for shrinking the participation in ODI World Cups, skewed formatting, and India-Pakistan games scheduled for the sole reason of financial gain.

But that profit is necessary for them to invest in the women’s game, U-19 cricket, and regional tournaments around the world because these tournaments provide no financial incentives.

In simple terms—the more money ICC earns from men’s tournaments, the more they can distribute to their members (How that distribution occurs is a deep dive for another day).


What do you all think? Is there a better solution for ICC to increase their profits than shoving multiple ICC tournaments in a short period of time?

Thanks for reading! Here is some bonus content for you cause I felt like it today.

Other Observations: ICC World Cup Costs in the Earlier Days

Cricket tournaments have become more professional over the years.

Now it takes multi-million dollars to host an ICC event which includes breakthrough commercial deals. Only a couple of decades ago, it did not take as much money to host a world tournament (and the inflation was lower).

  • ICC Knockout Trophy 2000: $8,000
  • ICC Trophy 2001: $25,000
  • Champions Trophy 2022: $5,788,000
  • ODI World Cup 2003: $370,000

Financial Glossary

Here are definitions of some of the key phrases we have used in this article according to Law Insider and Investopedia:

  • Total Comprehensive Income: “Comprehensive income is the sum of a company’s net income, as recorded on their income statement, and unrealized income (or ‘other comprehensive income’).”
  • Value in Kind: “Sponsorship received in forms of goods and/or services rather than money.”

Sources: ICC Financial Statements and Annual Reports (2000-2022)

Continue Reading on our series where we break down the economics of cricket:

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, LLC 2023. Originally published on 04/25/2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Nitesh Mathur


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