The International Cricket Council (ICC) will pay seven full-member boards $10 million over the next eight years, as part of the Test Fund announced during last year’s ‘Big Three’ takeover of cricket’s governing body.
The Indian, English and Australian cricket boards excluded, seven full-member boards will receive $1.25 million each annually, beginning from January 2016.
The most recent figures specify that each member getting the Test Match Fund stands to gain $10 million over eight years, cricket news website reported.
This is less than the figure of $12.5 million over eight years announced by England Cricket Board (ECB) president and ICC executive committee member Giles Clarke in February 2014 as each nation’s Test Cricket Fund package.
The ICC plans to make its first Test Cricket Fund payment of $600,000 in early January, before paying out another $650,000 to the ‘small seven’ member boards in July.
Payments are expected to follow this biannual pattern until 2023.
The ICC had initially announced that the Test Cricket Fund was meant to “encourage and support Test match cricket” outside the Big Three nations.
As Boards have already entered bilateral touring agreements until 2023, there appears to be narrow capacity to improve their Test schedules using the Test Cricket Fund payments.
It looks more likely that the amount will be used to finance loss-making tours.
For example, Sri Lanka Cricket loses money on Test tours featuring all countries bar the Big Three and Pakistan.
The Test Cricket Fund would help it recover losses from home tours such as the recent visit by the West Indies, which is projected to have cost Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) about $648,000.
The Test Cricket Fund had been one of the chief incentives open to the smaller boards, as the BCCI, ECB and CA wanted support for their control of the ICC in January and February last year.
During that time, Clarke, then ECB’s chairman, had said in an interview: “The ICC has agreed to establish a Test Match Fund of $12.5 million per country over eight years – available to all except England, India and Australia – which will allow those countries which find Test cricket difficult to sustain economically the opportunity to continue to stage Test matches.”
The ICC has not yet announced the funds’ terms of usage, or how it will hold boards accountable to the aim of promoting Test cricket.