Despite the boost from hosting the T20 World Cup, Cricket Australia reported a loss of almost $17 million in its records.
In 2022-23, Cricket Australia reported a loss of $16.9m, but hosting the Twenty20 World Cup helped to mitigate this financial setback.
The governing body stated that the decrease in revenue was due to an anticipated decline in the revenue cycle, as it was not an Ashes year. However, the game still managed to break a record for attendance during the previous summer.
On Thursday, Mike Baird, the chair of Cricket Australia, mentioned that there could be further financial challenges ahead. He stated, “Cricket is at a crucial point with the rise of franchise cricket posing both significant obstacles and immense possibilities as the popularity of our sport increases.”
The global schedule is facing pressure from local T20 tournaments taking place in India, North America, the Middle East, and Africa, posing a challenge to Cricket Australia’s authority in the sport.
Baird stated that as a top organization, Cricket Australia has the ability to have a significant impact on the future of cricket. This includes upholding their dedication to Test cricket and utilizing their recognition as an Olympic sport to expand the game’s reach.
The International Olympic Committee declared that cricket will be included as an Olympic event at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
According to the annual report of Cricket Australia, a record-breaking 2.4 million individuals attended cricket matches in Australia from June of the previous year. The revenue of Cricket Australia also saw a 9% increase, amounting to $427 million, thanks in part to the success of the men’s Twenty20 World Cup, which England won in the final at the MCG in November.
The tournament’s total earnings were recorded as $42.5 million, which “compensated for the decrease in media rights and match revenue in a non-Ashes year, as well as increased player payments, strategic investments in the BBL, and higher travel expenses due to Covid-19,” according to the annual report.
The loss of $16.9 million is the third largest in the last ten years, following the losses of $52 million in 2016-17 and $43 million in 2019-20.
The CEO of Cricket Australia, Nick Hockley, stated that it was a significant year in which they established a strong base for the sport and positioned cricket to take advantage of the immense opportunities in the future.
The recent partnership between Foxtel and Channel Seven, valued at $1.5bn for a seven-year period, includes a separate agreement with Disney Star to broadcast Australian cricket in India.
In April, a new agreement was reached between players that will last for five years. It includes a share of $133 million for professional women, which is higher than the previous amount of $80 million. Hockley, a spokesperson, stated that this arrangement addresses the evolving nature of the sport worldwide and also provides reassurance and stability for Australian cricket.
The number of participants increased from 599,000 to 628,000 in the previous year. However, there was a slight decline in the number of children aged 11 and below who played junior cricket. This was mainly due to the closure of entry-level programs during the Covid pandemic. This highlights the difficulty in increasing the participation of children in cricket. The report noted this as a challenge.