The repercussions of a boycott that cost ECB dear
Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2003, 21:35 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
ECB offers Zim compensation for WC boycott
London: England cricket chiefs revealed on Tuesday they will have to cut costs by four million Pounds ($ 6.3 million) in the wake of the national team's boycott of its World Cup match in Zimbabwe. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tim Lamb hinted the move was a result of repercussions from England's boycott of its pool-stage World Cup match in Zimbabwe two months ago. The International Cricket Council subsequently withheld 2.3 million Pounds of World Cup money from English cricket and it is that shortfall which appears to have already forced the ECB to take action. Lamb warned before England pulled out of its Pool 'A' match in Harare on February 13 for safety reasons that a boycott would be likely to cost English cricket. Fears that Zimbabwe would retaliate by cancelling its tour of England this summer appear to have been allayed. But the cut will have to be made to a budget which caters for grass-roots cricket up to the allocation of central contracts. Lamb told the BBC Sport Website, "It is regrettable that these cost savings need to be found, but they are part of the financial fall-out from the 2003 World Cup. "It is only right and proper that all parts of the game should bear the pain. The ECB is committed to managing cricket on a thoroughly professional and modern basis, and we need to balance our books." It emerged after Tuesday's meeting of the First Class Forum that each of England's 18 fully-professional counties are likely to lose 30,000 Pounds ($ 47,300) of their annual funding this year.