Associate funding – censuses, scorecards & grants

We’ve just seen Ireland play their first (men’s) Test match, going down in a very entertaining close-fought encounter with Pakistan that ended just before tea on the fifth day. Do yourself a favour and read Jarrod Kimber’s piece on the historic occasion. In four weeks, Afghanistan take on the might of Team India in Bengaluru for their own inaugural Test fixture.

After being elevated to Full Members of the ICC last year, Afghanistan and Ireland will now be funded like the other ten Test nations – by a distribution split decided by the ICC Board.

The process for assessing what each Associate Member (AM) receives is much more involved with many more moving parts and timelines.?After my more-general?ICC’s global funding model post it is only fair that I now take the time to set out how cricket’s emerging nations are funded.

Besides the twelve Full Members of the ICC, there are 93* AMs who share a USD figure somewhere between $160-200m^. This equates to roughly 10% of total member grants over the 2015-23 rights period.

Associate Members compete for their proportion of this funding across two major pools – more or less splitting the available funds 50/50 – each with its own criteria:

  • Scorecard Grant. Every emerging nation is measured across twelve weighted criteria that cover off-field aspects of the member’s operations. All AMs are then ranked overall and then fall into eight categories of funding, which range from $510,000 for the highest four (group A), to $12,500 for the 20 member federations in group N. The weighting across the card amounts to 70% (Participation – six separate criteria), 10% (Infrastructure, Officials & Staff – five criteria), 20% (Non-ICC Income – one criteria)
  • Competition Grant. This grant (or grants if you are eligible) is matched to the highest ICC-event/s you have most recently qualified for, or competed in. In 2017 the highest achieving teams received around $700,000 under this grant system. This?excludes Afghanistan & Ireland who would have received over $2m after receiving $1.7m for being on the main ICC ODI rankings table . For countries below World Cricket League (WCL) division 5, and who had not made it to any of the global qualifiers for men’s (CWC/WT20), women’s (CWC/WT20) or U19 CWC they did not receive anything from this pot.

More on the scorecard

The numbers that are measured on the scorecard are gathered by the ICC across their annual census, and quarterly reports. The data is then sorted? throughout the next year, collated and ranked, and members are informed towards the end of the year where they place in the scorecard. Effectively, you have a two year lag in census year v funding year.

All figures are self-reported. The harsh reality here is that a single place change in one ranking metric could result in a huge (positive or negative) effect on a member’s funding – unsurprisingly there have been reports of various instances of “creative accounting”. Many of these remain private / dealt with confidentially, but here’s one mention back in 2013, with respect to ground numbers in the USA.

More on tournament grants + extraordinary funding

The World Cricket League funding, as it decreases down the divisions: (WCLC: 300K, WCL2: 150K, WCL3: 75K, WCL4: 50K, WCL5: 25K)#

Intercontinental Cup: 325K, men’s/U19 global qualifiers: 75K, women’s global qualifiers: 25K.#

In recent years, additional one-off (sometimes in instalments) grants for major tournaments or other extraordinary funding was also provided. These included:

$1mCricket World Cup 2015 (Afg, Ire, Scot, UAE)

$425k – World Twenty20 2016 (Afg, HK, Ire, Net, Oma, Sco). It was reported??here as $250,000?(as it was for 2014) and here as $300,000. However, this was during my time at CHK, and it’s only fair to say that the total received by the AM qualifiers was increased by the ICC to further assist qualifying Associate teams prepare for the 2016 event.

$500k / $250kExtraordinary funding for ODI/T20I nations?($500k: Afg, Ire / $250k: HK, Net, Oma, PNG, Sco, UAE). This was in addition to another other competition grants or global event fees to assist ODI/T20I status-holding AMs arrange more competitive (bilateral) fixtures. Every country here except PNG used some of the money to participate in the?Desert T20 in early 2017. Namibia, despite not have ODI/T20I status took the eighth spot that was originally offered to PNG.

Prior to the 2014 “big three” reforms there was also the?Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme (TAPP). Afghanistan ($422k for a national cricket centre in 2013) and Ireland ($1.5m for an improved elite domestic structure in 2012) were both beneficiaries. According to the ACC, TAPP provided just over $12m across three FMs (NZ, WI, Zim) and four AMs (Afg, Ire, Net, Sco).

*This includes USA Cricket who despite having their ICC Membership cancelled in 2017 are being administered / funded by ICC and are approaching readmission.

^Funding not exactly as had been reported previously – AFG/IRE funding did not necessarily (all) come from AM pot.

#This was added slightly after original publishing as was excluded originally erroneously. I will put something together on the World Cricket League structures in the near future to put this funding information in context.

Big three broadcast deals compared

The six billion dollar baby

After a much-reported negotiation concluded, Cricket Australia recently announced their new media rights deal for 2018-23. That meant the last of the “big three” had finalised their new domestic broadcast contracts, and they make very interesting reading. All values are USD unless noted otherwise and are as per FX rates from 1st May.

The total? Just a tick under six billion dollars.

This is how they stack up per year/season as appropriate:

BCCI: $700m per year i.e. $3.49bn over five seasons (2018-22) (IPL $2.55bn?+?$944m for other Indian cricket)

ECB: $306m per year i.e.?GPB1.1bn?($1.53bn) over five seasons (2020-25)

CA: $178m per year i.e.?AUD1.18bn?($890m) over six years (but five seasons) (2018-23)

These deals are for the cricket played in their countries only. Their national teams’ fixtures and domestic T20 (or 100 ball) tournaments will make up the bulk of the value for the broadcasters.

Besides India’s recent deals, these amounts do not include the broadcast rights outside of each full member’s own country (e.g. the BBL being broadcast to the UK).

It will take a whole other piece to set out total broadcast revenue for the likes of a BCCI, CA or ECB taking all broadcast factors into account – including the revenue sharing of bilateral tours – so I will leave that for another day and just concentrate on each of the major “home” rights contracts.

In saying that though, the sharing of revenue for bilateral tours is major contributor to a country’s top line. Without getting into the nitty gritty of sharing proportions etc. what this means in reality, is when the likes of an India tour your country you stand to receive a large chunk of money as a share of the value of that series. As we have seen in the recent past, when India pulls out of a potential tour, there is normally a lot of noise that follows the decision – and this is all because of the amount of money that country would have stood to gain from India touring.

Here’s a little more detail on each country’s broadcast arrangements.


This will be the first time any home Australian cricket will be exclusively behind a paywall with men’s ODI/T20I matches on Fox Sports only. Foxtel subscribers will also be the only ones to watch the additional matches (exact schedule still TBC) added to the BBL over and above last year’s fixtures. All other matches – including more women’s cricket than ever before, will be shown on both Fox and free-to-air (FTA) network Channel Seven. After 40 years – the first time since before World Series Cricket was introduced by Kerry Packer – Channel Nine will not show any cricket played in Australia, beyond the men’s and women’s World Twenty20s in 2020. They will also show the Ashes and the World Cup – both being played in England & Wales during the 2019 northern hemisphere summer.

Fox Sports have promised a dedicated cricket channel – an Australian first – which promises a raft of new shows and concepts, and revised offerings to their digital customers.

It has not yet been confirmed who will be producing the content and whether Seven will simulcast/licence Fox footage and/or add their own production offering. Considering the recent news that both networks (plus Nine) are pursuing key commentary figures, it tells us (at least) we will get some variety across the channels for those with access to subscription television.

England & Wales

After moving 100% of all cricket onto pay TV’s Sky Sports after the historic 2015 Ashes win, the ECB’s new deal pulls some cricket back onto FTA TV with 21 matches to be shown on BBC, including men’s & women’s internationals and the new T20/100 competition. Sky Sports fought off a very keen bid from BT Sport. BT also holds the UK rights for all of Australia’s home matches from 2016-21 in a deal reported to be worth almost $110m (GBP80m).


In the biggest single cricket rights deal ever, Star Sports won the 2018-22 rights for the IPL for a whopping $2.55bn. With 60 matches a season, it puts it up there with one of the most valuable sporting leagues in the world – however, when compared to how many matches are played in the other properties on the list, it doesn’t really compare (yet).

The BCCI then e-auctioned all its other domestic content, netting almost another billion dollars, from Star again. This actually eclipsed the IPL deal on a per match basis ($9.26m v $8.47m)? however once you consider the many more hours (and match days) of content the Indian match deal includes across ODI and Test match cricket, the IPL still wins out in terms of value by airtime.


ICC global funding model explainer

The first of a series of FAQ-style posts about the underlying structures of cricket’s funding, development, strategies, and other pieces that are useful in understanding what goes on behind the sport’s curtain…

A brief look at how global cricket is funded by the ICC (and where the money comes from)

The vast majority of cricket funding (outside the major nations’ own arrangements) comes from moneys distributed by the ICC. Almost US$1.8bn will be distributed over this current rights period (2015-23) to over a hundred member federations.

The majority of ICC funds are gained from their “global events” which include the Men’s & Women’s 50 over Cricket World Cups (CWC) and World Twenty20s (WT20). The Champions Trophy 2017 & 2021 was also included, but the 2021 event has now been replaced by a World Twenty20 instead.

In the majority, these funds come from two particular streams:

  • Media (TV & digital) Rights. Star Sports* (through their Indian/Middle East operations) bought the worldwide 2015-23 rights for around two billion dollars.?ICC approved broadcasters will then carry these events in their regions after paying a fee to Star; e.g. Sky (UK), Super Sport (Sub-Saharan Africa), Channel 9/ Fox Sports (Aus) etc. *Interestingly Star will be sold to Disney by owners Fox as part of a massive deal?which should complete in the next year or so. How does the value of these rights compare the deals signs some of the bigger cricket nations? Look out for another FAQ on that soon.
  • Sponsorship Properties. There is ~$700m in the ICC budget for the 2015-23 period. This includes everything from naming to major alignments such as trophy naming rights and other headline deals (they do not sell naming rights to world events any more – if we think back to the “Wills World Cup” days in 1996 etc). Major names aligned to ICC events during this period include Nissan, Emirates, Oppo, Pepsi, LG, MRF Tyres, Castrol, Reliance, Hyundai, and more..

Other non-event specific sponsorships such as the Umpires (Emirates), and equipment (Gray-Nicolls) are in addition to these global events, but will generally also carry over and into the major tournaments.

The funding distribution model has changed a lot (and numerous times) over the past few years, no more so than as a result of the “Big 3” reforms in 2014, which were more or less repealed mid last year under a raft of positive governance overhauls under Chairman, Shashank Manohar (seen above, photo: ICC). The ICC confirmed the current model in early 2018.

Manohar was first appointed Chairman in November 2015, when he was BCCI’s representative. However he resigned as BCCI President in order to take up the position as the ICC’s first independent Chairman in May 2016.

So, how much does each member receive?

Over eight years the breakdown of ICC grants to members are as follows (USD):

  • 405m (~51m pa) India
  • 139m (~17m pa) England
  • 128m (16m pa) Australia, Bangladesh, NZ, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies
  • 94m (~12m pa) Zimbabwe
  • 40m (~5m pa) Afghanistan & Ireland (became full members 2017 so this may be pro-rata from 2017-23)
  • 160m to 93 Associates – this broken up across two grant systems (tournament & scorecard)^. The complexities of Associate funding deserve their own piece (or perhaps pieces) which will follow shortly.

Dutch journalist Bertus De Jong set out the funding model changes in a tweet not long after they were ratified:

The new model totals distributions to members of $1.774bn, the rest is for ICC’s administration and cost of running its operations and events.

It must be noted that these totals are based on the current ICC income budgets for 2015-23. These will change if actual numbers (are forecast to) deviate from the budget.

^correction: the original post had “as well as the cost of running emerging tournaments such as the World Cricket League and minor (i.e. non-global) qualifying tournaments” in this section. This funding comes out of the central ICC pot, the AM allocation of 160m go direct to Associate Members in grants.