This has been quite a challenging year for the sports sector. Cricket has also been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic. The England Women Cricket face West Indies in a five-match T20 series while the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy has been seen around half a million people tune in to live streams of the group stages. Despite the challenges, Women’s cricket seems to be doing well.
Ever since the government scraped off the idea of the return of fans into stadiums because of fears that the coronavirus infections could come back in a second wave, leagues, teams, and coaches have shown disappointment. They have come out to count their losses to the government while seeking financial support and a clear plan from the government.
The ECB has not turned a blind eye to the impact of Coronavirus on women’s cricket, but are very much committed to the game’s growth.
The Football Association has warned of significant losses if fans do not return to stadiums soon. The government is only seeking to protect its citizens against the spread of the virus, but sports are also on edge. They have urged leagues to support each other so that clubs will not fall apart. It is so bad that the Rugby Union has reported losing £2m every single week. The League and English Football League have not estimated any less.
The Chief Executive Officer of the England and Wales Cricket Board also admits to having suffered financial losses, but they will put plans together to make things work. “We feel there is momentum building up and 2020, when it could have been a year of oblivion for women’s cricket has been a net positive.” CEO Harrison said. “Overall, the impact of the pandemic on our finances is massive, it’s already over £100m and could be £200m because we don’t know where we go in 2021
“We will, of course, build many contingency plans over the next few months for whatever next year brings. But we’re not in any position to ring-fence anything- although that doesn’t mean any dilution on our commitment.” He added.
Indeed, COVID 19 has affected and will continue to affect sports in the long term. According to an ESPN analysis earlier this year, leagues will lose $12 billion in revenue, hundreds and thousands of jobs will be in jeopardy as well. And it will get worse. What exactly is the government doing about this? They have agreed to support clubs if the need is financially, and have encouraged clubs to help each other while stopping fans from attending games.
Despite the enormous financial losses, the organization will not stop inspiring future generations.
These seem like the right approach, but sports are still losing money, and individuals are losing their jobs as a result. Stadium workers, youth sports complexes, and even television networks are going out of business. What if the world takes it time? What if we put sports aside for the time being and tackle the pandemic head-on until it’s completely eradicated? Would that not make things a lot easier? Trying to manage both things at the same thing does not seem to be working out, so why don’t we wait and plan?
Should the world decide to keep sports while battling the pandemic, what would we need? According to many athletes and higher-ups, the world needs a change of mind and attitude and creative thinking. CEO Harrison entirely agrees with the latter. Creative thinking is essential to good governance.
Harrison wants to approach the situation differently. He suggests that there should be different ways of doing things, like working individually or working in partnerships for a just course. He said; “there are other ways of doing things, sometimes doing it yourself means you pay for it yourself or, you can enable things to happen through partnerships
“And creatively challenging yourself to find a different way to create the same outcome but with less money. And that’s what we’re looking to do across the board at the ECB- none of our ambition to inspire the future generations is being diluted by Coronavirus impacting our finances. We have to be smarter in how we deploy our money and resources.”
Harrison ended with a reminder that their commitment to the women’s game is as strong as ever and promises fans that they will see continuous growth.