Discussing the richest cricket boards is common in the world of cricket today.
Dwaine Pretorius becomes the latest to retire from internationals to focus on T20 leagues. He follows Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, and several others in becoming free agents. The SA 20 league, aka IPL in South Africa, has gained a lot of attention in being the ‘final hope’ for South African cricket. But why is that South African, New Zealand, and West Indies cricketers in particular are leaving international cricket?
It all boils down to the money. Today, we discuss the richest cricket boards in Part 4 of our series, Cricket & Finances. Here is quick overview:
The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is the richest cricket league in the world with an estimated $2 billion annual revenue. The BCCI is followed by the ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) at $368 Million, and CA (Cricket Australia) at $270 Million in annual revenue. The CSA (Cricket South Africa) has revenues of $46 million, NZC (New Zealand Cricket) is at $42 million, and CWI (Cricket West Indies) is at $28 million. Those are not bad numbers, but exploring a bit in-depth, we see that CSA had a total comprehensive loss of $11.6 million, NZC suffered a loss of $4.6 million, and CWI incurred a loss of $10 million.
World’s Richest Cricket Boards (Lowest to Highest)
We looked at the financial statements and Annual Reports of each of these respective boards to come up with the revenue, expenditure, and total surplus/loss.The ranking of the national cricket board is displayed with the (annual revenue) and partners/sponsors.
*all figures are in $US dollars.
12. Zimbabwe Cricket – ZC ($5.5 Million)
Total Operating Costs:$6,953,991
Total Deficit:–$1,239,606 (LOSS)
Total Comprehensive Income (after surplus on lands and buildings): – $1,192,166
Is Zimbabwe Cricket profitable?No, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is not profitable with a deficit of $1.1 million in 2020.
Based on Annual Reports & financial statements ending on 31 December 2020.
Banaqua, Swift, Zimpharm, Dandemutande, A May, Ihsan, Swift, Windmill Pvt Ltd
Retained earnings at the end of the financial year:310,166 ($333,000)
Based on Annual Reports & financial statements ending on 31 December 2021.
Is Cricket Ireland profitable?No, Cricket Ireland is not profitable with a deficit of 1,230,869 Euros ($1.3 Million). On the other hand, in 2020, the Cricket Ireland was profitable with a surplus of 1,537,632 Euros ($1.65 Million).
Main Sponsors & Men’s Shirts Rights Holder:ITWConsulting
Official Ireland Women’s Team Partner & Official Technology Partner:Hanley Energy
Official Airline Partner:Turkish Airlines
Official sponsor of Inter-Provincial Series:Test Triangle
Official IT Services Partner:Techfynder
Official Currency Exchange Partner:ClearCurrency
Official Partners:Amul, O’Neills, Ulster University, Tildenet, Club Travel, La Manga Club, ICC, Sport Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland, The Hope Foundation, Federation of Irish Sport, Arachas Insurance, Mansfield Sports Group
Is the Bangladesh Cricket Board profitable? Yes, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was profitable in 2020 with a surplus of BDT 832,68,87,010 ($79.2 Million)
Based on AnnualGeneral Meeting 2021, which summarized CWI’s financial statements from 2020.
*BDT – Bangladesh Taka
Highlight from the 2017-2020 BCB Activity Report
“In the six years between 2011 and 2016 the Board had earned US $33.32 million in media, team sponsor, and other rights while in just three years from 2017 to 2020, the BCB’s earnings stood at approximately US $29 million from the same sources.”
Total Revenue:778, 353,000 Rands ($45,767,156 USD)
Total Expenses:995,624,000 Rands ($58,492,910 USD)
Total Comprehensive Loss: -197,874,000 Rands ($-11,625,097 USD) (LOSS)
End of Year Balance (After adding up previous years’ savings):272 Million Rands ($16 Million)
Is Cricket South Africa profitable? No, Cricket South Africa was not profitable in 2021-22 with a net deficit of -197 Million South African Rands (loss of $11.625 Million US dollars).
Based on the 2021-22 Integrated Report and corresponding financial statements for fiscal year ending on 30 April 2022.
Highlights from the Integrated Report 2021-22
“The curtailment of the planned four T20 matches against India due to Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted CSA’s results, with a -R 250 Million (- $14.7 Million USD). This revenue loss was mitigated to a certain extent by committed cost reductions through all business areas, resulted in a reported loss of R198 Million ($11.6 Million USD).”
“CSA does not own cricket stadiums, so proceeds generated by these venues are shared, with CSA receiving 20% and stadium operators (CSA members) receiving 80%.”
53% Broadcast Rights: 413 Million SA Rands ($24 Million)
33% ICC distribution: 256 Million SA Rands ($15 Million USD)
4% Sponsorships (Professional), 2% Sponsorships (Amateur): 52 Million SA Rands ($3 Million USD)
Is Cricket Australia profitable? Yes, Cricket Australia (CA) is profitable with a net surplus of $ 10.7 million AUD ($7.4 million USD) in 2021. Hence, Cricket Australia is on #3 in the richest cricket boards in the world.
Based on the 2021-22 Annual Report and Statement of Comprehensive Income for fiscal year ending on 30 June 2022.
Broadcast Partners:Fox Sports, Seven West Media, ABC Radio, Macquarie Radio Network, Sports Entertainment Network
International Broadcast Partners:Sony, Fox Sports Asia, beIN, BT Sport, Supersport, Kwese Sports, Sports Max, Flow Sports, Willow, ATN, SKY Network Television, National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea
Total Comprehensive Income:$20,751,000 Pounds ($25,229,066 USD)
Is the England & Wales Cricket Board profitable? Yes, England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is profitable. According to the 2021-22 Financial Statements, the ECB had a net surplus of $20.7 million pounds ($25.2 million US dollars). Hence, the ECB is the 2nd among the richest cricket boards on the planet.
Based on the 2021-22 Financial Statements for fiscal year ending on 31 January 2022.
Is the Board of Control for Cricket in India profitable? Yes, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is profitable with a net surplus of INR 529 Crore ($64.8 million US dollars). Furthermore, the profit has grown to an estimated $2 billion as of 2022.
Based on the 2016-17 Financial Statements for fiscal year ending on 31 March 2017.
Although official documents were limited to 2017, we investigated further based on Twitter data and media reports from reputable sources. For example, the infographic by Forbes India shows the mammoth growth in BCCI’s net worth between 2014 & 2018. BCCI’s net worth is shown to be INR 11,916.8 crore ($1.224 billion US dollars).
Since then, BCCI’s rise has been exponential. Here are some of the highlights of major rights and sponsorships, including the mammoth $6.2 billion IPL media rights between 2023-2027.
In conclusion, about $1.24 billion revenue will be achieved annually by the IPL media right alone. The ICC revenue and all of the other sponsorships will make up another billion (and will change everywhere as the negotiations with each sponsor changes). The BCCI is easily #1 on the list of the world’s richest cricket boards.
*Note: The estimated Revenue for ICC’s broadcasting income from the 2023 ODI World Cup is about $533.29 Million, from which $58.23-116.47 million is expected to be taxed by the Indian government.
India’s sponsors and partners are as follows:
Team Sponsor:BYJU’S: The Learning App
Official Broadcaster:Star Sports ($944 Million)
Official Partners:Dream11, Hyundai, Ambuja Cement, Killer Jeans(Kewal Kiran Clothing)
The only profitable cricket boards are the BCCI, ECB, CA, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLCB).
This is the concerning aspect. If the national body is not profitable, they have to cut back on salaries, systems, and leagues. This is exactly why South Africa are hoping that the SA20 league generates so much revenue that the surplus can raise players’ salaries and keep them in the domestic circuit.
How Do Cricket Boards Earn Money?
Cricket boards earn money in a variety of ways—ICC revenue, media rights, sponsorships, ticket sales, etc. Here is a visual from ESPNCricinfo illustrating the2016-2023 revenue distribution from the ICC to the top cricketing nations.
As acclaimed twentieth century writer Khalil Gibran once remarked, “Exaggeration is truth that has lost its temper.”
India’s improbable victory in the 4th Test sent social media into frenzy. There were claims of it being the ‘greatest Test team’ going around or the ‘best Indian Test team.’ Although there is subtle merit to these claims, I argue that this is just an over exaggeration of the ground reality.
How Good Are Team India?
There is no doubt that the Indian cricket team has flourished in the 21st century. With a thriving cricketing culture, robust recruitment setup throughout the country, monetary power in the hands of the BCCI with the advent of the IPL, and a prospering India A system, India has the greatest depth and resources available.
The rise of Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Khan across formats in less than six months attests to this claim.
India came back from 0-1 to seal the Border-Gavaskar series 2-1. Stories galore and the legend of this series will carry in the minds of fans forever. Similarly, a defeat in the third Test against England did not faze India. In the 4th Test, a 99-run deficit was overcome via valiant century by Rohit Sharma and memorable contributions in both innings by Shardul Thakur.
To give you an idea how far India have come along—This is India’s 4th victory in Australia & England since December (and 8th in Australia, England, South Africa since 2018). In the decade before, India’s only moments of glory in England & Australia were Headingly 2002, Adelaide 2003, England series 2007, and Perth 2008 (coincidentally Rahul Dravid contributing with 148, 233 & 72*, captain, and 93). So this 2-1 series victory (almost) should hold well with the Indian fans, especially after the suffering endured in the 2010s.
This Indian team is good. Really good. They have the spirit to come back from any circumstance, and they just never give up. The attitude instilled by Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli is evident in the body language of each and every player.
However, is this team the best? I do not think so.
Collapse A Day Does Not Keep The Doctor Away
Team India is brilliant at comebacks, but why is there a need of comebacks in the first place?
The 2000s Australia team set the benchmark for Test greatness. Did you ever hear them coming from dire circumstances? Well, not much because they were so dominant, a comeback was not even necessary.
The same is true for the current World Test Championship winner, the New Zealand cricket team. When they win, they win emphatically.
If India are to instill their greatness in cricketing folklore, they must replicate their home dominance away as well.
Current Batting Side Does Not Fire In Unison
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Ajinkya Rahane are all good batters individually, but they have rarely fired in unison.
When the top order bats at its best, the middle order collapses. When Pujara-Pant come together, the rest of the batters have already gone to the pavilion. Kohli is not back at his best yet and Rahane seems to have fallen off the charts altogether.
Even in the horrendous tours of 2011 and 2014, I do not remember performances like 36/9 or 78/10, let alone two. The batting collapses occur too frequently to be regarded as a modern great. What made the Sehwag-Dravid-Sachin-Laxman-Ganguly era great was their consistent overseas batting performances without having the caliber of fast bowlers at their disposals in the nets to practice with.
Now India finally has the bowling attack to take 20 wickets consistently, but a batting line up that is not even close.
Greatest Indian Bowling Attack
The reason India is succeeding away from home can be attributed to two factors: (1) comparatively lower standard of opposition, and (2) fast bowling unit.
Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur provide regular breakthroughs while Jadeja and Ashwin can play both as wicket-taking options and chief controller depending on the conditions.
Since the South Africa tour of 2018, Indian bowlers have taken all 20 wickets by pace on numerous occasions. Injury replacements are readily available as well.
So is India Good, Bad, or Just Okay?
The bowling attack? The best in their nation’s history. Their batting? Eh. Not so hot.
India might have one of the best line ups on paper but are definitely not the best Test team going around. Or at least just not performing to their full potential yet. The flaws in India’s team performance combined with miraculous comebacks and recency bias actually amplify the degree of their quality. India are so bad sometimes that it brings out the best in the team. Still a long way to go achieve dominance.
In other words, India are so bad that they are actually good. Think about it.
March 8th, 2020 with 86,174 spectators. The crescendo beginning in the 2017 Women’s ODI World Cup peaked on that day in the World T20 final between Australia and India. However, progress has stalled due to the COVID-19 break. The post-pandemic stats below show how the counterparts stacked between March 2020 & January 2021:
Maximum possible days of international cricket scheduled (5 days maximum per tests)
Men: 128 days
Women: 16 days (including 5 Austria-Germany T20Is)
Total Matches Played (international + T20 Leagues)
Women’s cricket resumed in September 2020 as West Indies toured England. Later in the year, New Zealand played against Australia & England, and Pakistan visited South Africa. It took Indian women an entire year before playing against South Africa in March 2021. Proteas won the series comfortably 4-1 (ODIs) & 2-1 (T20I).
Although lack of match practice, domestic tournaments, & national camps was the reason for India’s defeat, highly regarded coach WV Raman was the casualty, alleging a “smear campaign” against him. Replacement Ramesh Powar, who famously had a fallout with Mithali Raj in 2018, was picked as the head coach again.
Stark Payment Gap
Although women cricketers have seen a marked increase in revenue since 2017, it is nearly not enough (with New Zealand, England, India, & Australia expanding central contracts).
BCCI’s latest contracts caused uproar. The highest paid men’s bracket is worth fourteen times as much as the highest paid women’s bracket.
Grade A+, consisting of Kohli, Sharma, and Bumrah earn about 7 crores (INR) or about $964,000 (USD). Grade A earn 5 crores ($689,000), B with 3 crores ($413,000), & C, consisting of the likes of Kuldeep & Gill, earn around 1 crore ($138,000).
Their counterparts—Mandhana, Kaur, & Poonam (Grade A) earn 50 lakhs INR ($68,000), while stalwarts like Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami (Grade B) plummet down to 30 lakhs ($41,000). This is comparable to the current standard around the world, but things do need to change.
What’s worse? World T20 finalist prize money worth $500,000 has not been paid yet, 14 months later. It took Isabelle Westbury’s Telegraph article & subsequent social media outrage to get BCCI to act, finally paying the dues.
The most profitable cricket board needs to allocate resources properly. The least they can do is avoid media stunts and focus on tangible progressive changes.
Hope In Times of Uncertainty
There is still hope, however.
Indian women will play two Test matches (last Test in 2014) this year, one each against England & Australia. The Test in Australia will be a day-night affair, which adds another layer of excitement.
Ireland & Scotland women are also back in action right now with a T20 series. New Zealand’s England tour in September is the only other scheduled series prior to the ODI World Cup (March 2022).
The Hundred Is the Savior
The Hundred in July this year promises to be a game-changer for women’s cricket.
All men & women’s game will be held on the same day on the same ground, will be televised (including free-to-air games), and prize money will be shared evenly between the winners of the men’s & women’s tournaments. It has the potentialize to revolutionize the women’s game and become a template for other T20 leagues to follow.
Even Indian players have been given the green signal to participate in the Women’s Hundred & the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
When Will the Attitudes Change Towards Women’s Cricket?
Australia, England, New Zealand are prime examples of how to recruit the future of women’s cricket, with efforts visible in the WBBL & New Zealand’s Super Smash tournaments.
Yet, there is still a long way to go. Each national board should prioritize women’s cricket, invest accordingly in the infrastructure, and work together with other nations to uplift standards.
Since MS Dhoni’s men lifted the inaugural T20I World Cup trophy in 2007, the Indian cricket team has failed to reach those heights again in the T20 format.
Indian Premier League is cricket world’s most lucrative and competitive tournament, providing Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) the monopoly to dominate cricket politics. Its influence has reached such an extent that England is even proposing to host the remainder of the IPL by reducing the 5-Test series, but that is another story.
While IPL’s brand has hit the ceiling over the past decade, the quality of the Indian international T20I team has remained stagnant.
One of the main reasons is BCCI’s reluctance to let Indian cricketers play in foreign leagues—the Hundred, CPL, BBL, BPL, PSL, Abu Dhabi T10 among others.
1. The Argument – Out of Favor Players Need an Outlet
India is sending separate squads for the England Test tour and Sri Lanka limited-overs series, an insight into the future.
Separate squads for different formats mean more international spots for domestic players. Yet, fringe players have limited opportunities. Out-of-favor players should have multiple outlets to stake a claim or regain lost spots.
Players looking to break into the Indian Test squad usually grind it out in Ranji Trophy or county cricket, but what about limited overs specialists? How about domestic stalwarts without an IPL contract but can provide value overseas? Or consider Kuldeep Yadav’s case, who has been warming the bench for two seasons.
If you rest, you rust.
Rather than wait an entire year for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and IPL, these cricketers could sharpen their skills overseas. They would improve, become financially stable, and help BCCI learn more about them.
2. Retired Players
Yuvraj Singh had to retire from cricket altogether to qualify for a T10 tournament, while Harbhajan Singh and plenty of others were denied altogether in similar cases. Not a proper way to treat legends.
In 2007, Australia’s greatest era was coming to an end with retirements of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Shane Warne, & Glenn McGrath.
Their acquisition highlighted the early days of the IPL. Hayden was CSK’s mainstay (remember the Mongoose Bat?), Warne inspired Rajasthan Royals’ inaugural win, and Gilchrist did the same with Deccan Chargers in 2009.
Watson exemplifies these points. His Player of the Series performance in IPL 2008 reignited his flailing international career. Post-retirement, Watson regained form in PSL 2019 (Player of the Series), held prior to IPL 2019, which helped CSK in their run to the final.
3. Learn From the West Indies
West Indies just announced a blockbuster summer ahead. 4 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 15 T20Is, right in time for the T20 World Cup. The likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, and Dwayne Bravo have returned. Consider this squad for a second:
Chris Gayle, 2. Evil Lewis, 3. Nicholas Pooran, 4. Shimron Hetmyer, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Andre Russell, 7. Jason Holder, 8. Dwayne Bravo, 9. Oshane Thomas, 10. Sheldon Cottrell, 11. Hayden Walsh Jr.
With Lendl Simmons, Andre Fletcher, Fabian Allen, Fidel Edwards, Akeal Hosein, & Obed McCoy on the sidelines and Sunil Narine yet to make his international comeback, this team is ready to complete their World Cup hattrick.
4. Match Practice and Pressure Situations
What is the secret sauce of this Caribbean generation?
In between World Cups, players employ their trade around the various leagues, gain valuable match practice in all conditions, simulate pressure situations, and experience playing with or against world-class opposition.
One can argue that West Indians were born for T20 format, but the same cannot be said about England.
Before 2015, England were adamant against the IPL and T20 leagues, except for Kevin Pietersen. Post the 2015 ODI World Cup debacle, they changed their thinking. The result? Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer had stellar seasons, became better limited overs players as a result, and England won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Radical change. Rapid strides.
5. The Solution
While injuries and players undervaluing internationals for T20 obligations are genuine concerns, there is a solution—implement a maximum cap of 2-3 leagues per year. This will ensure clarity in communication and provide time to obtain No-objection certificates (NOC), which will help cricketers manage commitments without giving up international dreams.
It does not have to be an all-or-nothing, but frankly the conversation needs to start somewhere.
Safeguarding the IPL brand is hurting India internationally.
IPL helped catapult India to the 2011 Cricket World Cup, but others have caught up. It is time BCCI let their players develop internationally if they have any chance in future T20 World Cups.
Controversy of the Day: Nobody cares about women’s cricket.
Today news came in that the BCCI finally decided to organize women’s matches, simultaneously with the men’s Vijay Hazare Trophy & the Vinoo Mankad U-19 Trophy. After the 4 match Women’s T20 Challenge, there is something to look forward to for the Indian Women team.
Is it enough, though? How are all the other women international teams faring during this time? Why did we get here? Could more have been done over the last year?
So many questions…Don’t worry, I got you.
Post-COVID statistics between Women’s Vs Men’s cricket, looking ahead to 2021, facts about the women’s game we should all know as cricket fans, and the way forward for women’s cricket.
*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.
March 8th, 2020—the peak for Women’s Cricket at the World T20 World Cup Final between Australia & India.
86, 174 spectators.
Following the monumental 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, women’s cricket began moving in a positive direction. Casual cricket fans began to take notice, fan following increased for the likes of Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning, & Smriti Mandhana, and representation in broadcasting expanded with Lisa Sthalekar, Isa Guha, & Ebony Rainford-Brent among others. Investment rose with the Women Big Bash League (WBBL), Kia Super League, & even the Women’s T20 Challenge. The highly anticipated experiment, The Hundred, was scheduled simultaneously with the men’s version for last summer.
The rise continued & on the auspicious International Women’s Day, the record number of spectators at the Women’s 2020 T20 World Cup confirmed Mithali Raj’s statement, “Truly I believe women’s cricket has come in the mainstream now.”
Momentum Halts For Women’s Cricket
March 8th, 2020—also the last time since India Women took field.
None. Zero. Nada.
It has been almost 11 months without any international cricket, domestic competition, or even a national training camp. Meanwhile, Indian men have played a 60-match IPL, & toured Australia from November-January for a 3-T20I, 3 ODI, and 4 classic Test matches. India women’s 3 match ODI tour of Australia scheduled in January? Cancelled due to coronavirus at the end of December. Explain that…
The momentum has truly been halted. Not only India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh women have not had much cricket either (although training camp has started for Bangladesh). Even the inaugural edition of the Hundred was postponed.
The second edition of men’s Indian Premier League post-COVID is about to begin in a couple of months and a 10-team IPL is rumored in 2022. On the other hand, after the gigantic leap from 1 match in 2018 to 4 matches in 2019, the Women T20 Challenge did not expand in 2020. And guess what? Those who participated in the Challenge were robbed of the opportunity to play WBBL due to bio-bubble regulations.
The biggest casualty, though was the earlier scheduled 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Starting next week, from February 6th-March 7th, New Zealand was supposed to host World Cup. YES, New Zealand, the country best placed to host an international event in these circumstances. Yet, in August the ICC postponed it due to ‘disparity in level of preparedness’ between the different countries.
Men’s Vs Women’s Cricket: Post-Covid Statistics
Thanks to the ECB and their bio-secured bubble protocols, cricket started back with the England-West Indies Test Series. Since then, both men’s & women’s cricket restarted, but here is a table that shows the disparity of the amount of games played.
Since July, the men have had a maximum possible 128 days of international cricket scheduled (5 days maximum per test) as opposed to just 16 days for the women (5 of which were Austria Vs Germany T20I). Across formats & countries, men have clocked in 540 matches, while women have played a mere 144 matches.
International Matches Played (June 2020-January 2021)
96 matches (24 T20Is, 12 ODIs, 15 Tests including WTC Final + 45 match 2021 T20 World Cup)
18 matches (9 ODIs, 9 T20Is)
Total Matches (Mar 2020-2021) *excluding T20/Domestic Leagues for 2021
Post-Covid Men’s & Women’s Cricket Summary
*Table does not include the 3 Eng-SA & the 2 Ire-UAE ODIs that were cancelled due to COVID.
Here are the details of the various series, leagues, & domestic tournaments played over the last year.
*Australia (Aus), New Zealand (NZ), India (Ind), England (Eng), Sri Lanka (SL), South Africa (SA), Pakistan (Pak), West Indies (WI), Bangladesh (Ban), Zimbabwe (Zim), Ireland (Ire), & Afghanistan (Afg).
International Matches Played (June 2020-January 2021)
WI tour Eng (3 Tests), Pak tour Eng (3 Tests, 3 T20I), Ire tour Eng (3 ODIs), Aus tour Eng (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs)
Zim tour Pak (3 ODI, 3 T20I), Ire tour UAE (4 ODIs – 2 cancelled), Ire Vs Afg (3 ODI)
Eng tour SA (3 T20I, ODIs abandoned), SL tour SA (2 Tests), Eng tour SL (2 Tests)
WI tour NZ (3 T20I, 2 Tests), Pak tour NZ (3 T20I, 2 Tests)
Ind tour Aus (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, 4 Tests)
*Excludes 16 games played by Guersney, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Belgium, Bulgaria, Malta, Romania
Austria tour Germany (5 T20I)
WI tour England (5 T20I)
NZ tour Aus (3 ODI, 3 T20I)
T10 & T20 Leagues Played Around the World
Men: Caribbean Premier League (33 matches), Indian Premier League (60), Sri Lanka Premier League (23), Big Bash League (61), T10 League (29)
Women: WBBL (59 matches), IPL Exhibition games (4)
Men: Bob Willis Trophy (Eng – 46 matches), 2020 T20 Vitality Blast (Eng – 97), 32 Super Smash (NZ – 32), Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy (India – 103)
Well if you thought 2020 was bad, 2021’s schedule does not seem like a drastic improvement either. Sure, just like the Vijay Hazare & Vinoo Mankad, more matches may be scheduled later, but the number of planned games in 2021 tells you the story.
Women’s Cricket 2021 Schedule
According to the ICC Fixtures for the next year, Women’s cricket looks as follows:
Pak tour SA (3 ODI, 3 T20I): Jan 20-Feb 3 (Ongoing)
Eng tour NZ (3 ODI, 3 T20I): Feb 23-Mar 5
Aus tour NZ (3 ODI, 3 T20I): Mar 27-Apr 10
After this, the next scheduled international fixture is the postponed 2022 Women’s World Cup that begins on March 4th, 2022. Domestically, apart from women’s edition of Vijay Hazare & Vinoo Mankad U-19, Australia National Cricket League (28 matches) has been announced, with The Hundred, Women Big Bash League, & Women’s T20 Challenge possibly returning for 2021.
Men’s Cricket Schedule 2021
While international women’s cricket as a whole has only been scheduled 18 limited overs matches in 2021, the Men’s England Test team alone are slotted 17 Test Matches (18 if they reach the WTC final), apart from the T20 World Cup & other bilateral series.
Currently, WI tour of Ban (3 ODI, 2 Tests) & SA tour of Pak (2 Tests, 3 T20Is) are ongoing, with the England tour of India (4 Tests, 5 T20I, 3 ODI), IPL 2021 (60 matches), & The Hundred on the horizon.
51 matches planned in 2021 (24 T20Is, 12 ODIs, 15 Tests including WTC Final)
45 match ICC Men’s T20I World Cup October-November (in India)
Did You Know?
Who was the first cricketer to score a double century in ODI? Umm..Sachin Tendulkar 200* Vs South Africa in 2010, right? Wrong. It was actually Belinda Clark’s 229* in the 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup.
The real question is, do we ourselves pay enough attention to Women’s Cricket or just hypocritically vouch for the women’s game?
We all know about Tendulkar’s 100 100s, Bradman’s 99.94, Muralitharan’s 800, Sharma’s 264. For our collective cultural enhancement, here is a short list of statistics and facts we should all know about Women’s Cricket.
Numbers & Facts in Women’s Cricket We Should All Know
*Note, this stats are divided by format: Test | ODI | T20I .
Most Runs: 1935 – Jan Brittin (Eng) | 6,888 – Mithali Raj (Ind) | 3301 – Suzie Bates (NZ)
Most Dismissals (Keeper):58 – Christina Matthews (Aus) | 160 – Trisha Chetty (SA) | 93 – Alyssa Healy (Aus)
Highest Team Total:569/6 declared Aus (vs Eng) | 491/5 NZ (Vs Ire) | 314/2 Uganda (Vs Mali)
World Cups: ODIs – Aus (6 times), Eng (4), NZ (1) | T20Is – Aus (5 times), Eng (1), WI (1)
A Way Forward
Australia, England, & New Zealand are historically the most successful women cricket teams and rightly so. They have invested in women’s cricket for decades & are broadening the recruitment of young girls in cricket. Other countries lag behind in the recruitment, infrastructure, & investment.
In the COVID era, the template provided by NZ’s Super Smash, India’s Vijay Hazare, & England’s Hundred should become common. The corresponding matches for the same teams should be played on the same day for both the men & women respectively. This may help out with spectators & TV revenues as well.
This is definitely possible for domestic competitions & T20 leagues, but should even be considered for international tours as well, at least for the limited overs leg.
These are just some limited thoughts, but there are limitless ideas to promote women’s cricket if enough focus is given to this part of the sport.
Supply & Demand
More needs to be done for Women’s Cricket in current times. If this break continues longer, experienced players will start to retire, budding youngsters might not receive opportunity (and hence, may leave the sport altogether), and the compounding loss of revenue will hurt women’s cricket for generations to come.
If the ICC and national boards do not ramp up support in 2021, as Anjum Chopra called it, Women’s Cricket will remain just as an ‘add on’ feature, and nothing more. Who knows, instead of waiting for their next opportunity, the likes of Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami should just retire now, join administration, take matters in their own hands, fix women’s cricket administration, un-retire and play.
Women Cricket’s current status can be summarized with the saying, “If you are not at table, you are on the menu.”
Although the coronavirus break as halted the momentum, hope remains. With the T20 international status open to several countries now, smaller nations like Thailand & Nepal have taken large strides. With role models like Ellyse Perry & Sophie Devine (see below), more girls have taken up the sport seriously.
Finally, us fans can themselves can help in the resurgence of momentum. The entire game is about supply & demand. Men’s cricket & the IPL generates a lot of revenue. Hence, T20 cricket remains essential at possibly the expense of Test cricket. Similarly, women’s cricket is less profitable and hence, gets less support. So, we should demand more women’s cricket and encourage girls to take the sport up.
Fans need to get involved. Bloggers (including me) should write more on women’s cricket. You should tweet more on women’s cricket. Watch lots of videos, look up more stats, & make women’s cricket viral. Get the media involved. Slowly & steadily, women’s cricket administration will take notice & invest more.
Anyway, I will leave you all with a classy Sophie Devine, who recently scored the fastest T20 century in women’s cricket (36 balls), but her sportsmanship & humanity was the highlight.
So there you go. Lots of controversy, with a tinge of hope.