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Cancelled England-South Africa Test could have cost ECB millions of pounds: Report

London, Sep 11 (IANS) The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) could have faced a potential multi-million pound loss had the third and final Test against South Africa been cancelled following the passing away of Queen Elizabeth II.

The ECB’s insurance does not cover the passing of a monarch and the country’s cricket body feared massive losses if the deciding Test at The Oval had got cancelled, said a report in the Daily Mail.

“The ECB’s insurance does not cover cancellation caused by the death of a monarch, and so multi-million pound losses would have followed had the governing body chosen that course of action for England’s third Test match against South Africa at the Kia Oval,” said the report.

While the opening day’s play was lost due to rain, the second day’s play on Friday was abandoned following the passing of the Queen. Play resumed on Saturday, with England dismissing South Africa for 118 and then notching up 154/7 — a lead of 36 runs on Day 3.

Following Surrey taking in 7.9m pounds in ticket sales for the rescheduled fifth Test between India and England, the ECB was looking at a potential windfall from the series-deciding third Test between England and South Africa.

Had the match been called off, it would have meant “majority of the money to be paid back to the spectators, as only the first day washout is covered by the insurers”, said the report.

The series is interestingly poised with the Proteas winning the opening Test at Lord’s by an innings and 12 runs, and Ben Stokes’ England coming back strongly to win the second Test at Old Trafford by an innings and 85 runs.

Unlike the Premier League football fixtures, which can be re-scheduled at a short notice, postponing a Test match could potentially mean it might not happen at all, given the busy Future Tours Programme (FTP) and the mushrooming domestic TO leagues across the world. Aligning with the schedules of broadcasters is another major issue faced by cricket.

Luckily for the ECB, the third Test went ahead, with the teams observing a minute’s silence to commemorate the late monarch.

–IANS

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Rashami Desai

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