SLC end 2019 on a bad wicket

23 August 2020 07:06 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Insufficient inbound tours – and none against India, England and Australia on home soil – has caused Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to lose revenue from international cricket in 2019, leading to a net deficit of Rs 471mn at the end of the financial year.

This is still better than what SLC had expected as it had budgeted for a deficit of Rs 2.7bn for 2019. Sri Lanka had a heavy international calendar last year but there weren’t enough inbound tours. They travelled to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa before heading to England for the World Cup. This was followed by the two home series against Bangladesh and New Zealand before heading to Pakistan for a full series.

The audited accounts are to be presented to the membership at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on August 31. They show that SLC’s earnings through international tours amounted to just Rs 503mn, a sharp drop when compared with the previous financial year when income had soared to Rs 4.67bn on the back of England’s visit.

SLC has also received Rs 2.901bn through the International Cricket Committee’s (ICC) annual distribution, a near two-fold increase from Rs 1.516bn in the previous year. It also got Rs 230mn through international TV rights and from releasing players for the Indian Premier League.

Total income generated through national team sponsorships, domestic cricket and other sponsorships stands at Rs 556mn. SLC revenue also got a boost of Rs 293mn through various means like interest income on short-term investments, etc. Earnings from marketing and corporate communications has shown a slight improvement with a Rs 38mn increase from Rs 518mn to Rs 556mn.

Accordingly, the Board’s gross income for the year was Rs 4.48bn, nearly Rs 3bn less than what they had earned during the previous financial cycle which was Rs 7.46bn.

The Board’s total expenditure has, however, dropped marginally from Rs 5.2bn to Rs 4.955bn. The highest outlay was on international cricket: tours, other expenses of the national team, A team tours, junior team tours, and the national women’s team tours. The total cost was Rs 2.15bn.

The accounts reveal that SLC has spent heavily on ‘A’ team tours during the year in review. Accordingly, Rs 119mn was pumped into ‘A’ team tours over Rs 23mn spent in 2018. Women’s cricket have cost the board a sum of Rs 102mn, a slight increase in expenditure compared to Rs 95mn spent in the previous year.

The Board’s administrative and other expenses also saw a sizeable rise: Rs 1.17bn when compared with Rs 1.09bn in 2018, out of which Rs 55mn has been spent as legal expenses.

According to the account statements, there are 29 pending litigations including the high profile case filed by former head coach Chandika Hathurusingha for unlawful termination of his contract. SLC fired Hathurusingha just 20 months into his three-year contract and he had sued SLC in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland for US$ 5mn in damages. Even though both parties had made submissions, CAS is yet to fix a date for the hearing.

Administration and other expenses includes Rs 444mn in staff salaries and 656mn on administrative expenses.

SLC’s expenses on domestic cricket has sharply reduced during the year. Overall, it spent Rs 617mn which is Rs 117mn less than the previous year. The payments include contract fees amounting Rs 63mn, Rs.8.9mn for selectors fees and Rs 478mn for local tournaments.

The Board has also spent Rs 310mn on development of stadiums, school cricket and other administrative grants with Rs 195 million for development and maintenance.

Meanwhile, the audit report issued by the National Audit Office has highlighted several operating inefficiencies, questioning the delay in starting up the cricket campus project after spending a total of Rs 51.25mn to secure the land, purchase of mechanised rollers and the delay in the completion of the national cricket stadium in Hingurakgoda.

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