Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ECB Cash in despite England's Failings

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ECB Cash in despite England's Failings

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER SHARKEY

THE headlines were mostly about pitch invasions and England's dismal form but at least the NatWest Series has been a huge success in commercial terms.

With the exception of the rained-off game scheduled to be played between Australia and Pakistan at Chester-le-Street, every match was played to near-capacity crowds.

The increase on last year's television viewing figures has vindicated the decision of Channel 4 and Sky to extend live cricket coverage until 2005 in a new, three-year deal with the ECB worth [pound]150 million. The current four-year contract, worth [pound]95m, expires next year.

The gate receipts from each of the games go to the ECB, who are then responsible for their distribution. After deducting the costs of staging the competition and disbursing fees to the participating teams, [pound]1.25m will be invested in the professional game and around [pound]462,000 will be used to support grassroots cricket. …

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