ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) is set to earn at least US$8 million from the current five-match One-Day International (ODI) home series against world champions India.
Efforts to get the exact amount ZC is likely to gross proved fruitless, but IndependentSport can reveal the association will pocket no less than US$8 million from television rights, advertising and sponsorship.
ZC board chairperson Peter Chingoka yesterday said that it was his organisation’s policy to withhold such information.
“It has always been like that. We do not release such information, but whatever we get is always helpful,” said Chingoka.
After engaging in tours that incurred losses of about US$700 000 per home tour, ZC will finally receive a windfall from hosting the cricket superpower, which itself sold its home tour television rights for US$612 million between 2010 and 2014. India realises US$6,6 million from each of its home matches through television rights.
“ZC will get around US$7 million in television rights and there are other financial benefits, for instance, the shirt sponsor Royal Stag is an Indian company which will pour in a substantial amount,” said a source.
“There will be financial gains also from the sponsorship of the series and advertising.”
Like most sporting organisations in Zimbabwe, ZC has been struggling for sponsorship, but this tour will give them a fat pay cheque.
Zimbabwe hosted Bangladesh earlier this year and will host Pakistan and Sri Lanka later this year in longer tours.
Another opportunity will only present itself in 2016 when India is expected to tour Zimbabwe during which it will play two Tests and ODIs, according to the Future Tours Programme.
On the field of play, Zimbabwe will seek to improve in its second of the five-match ODIs against India at Harare Sports Club this morning.
After losing the first match by six wickets, the hosts would be aiming to hit back to keep the series alive. After the batsmen failed to put on a competitive score on the board, the selectors are set to ring changes to improve fortunes in that area.
Zimbabwe posted 228 runs after being sent in to bat by Indian captain Virat Kholi.
Captain Brendan Taylor admitted that his players would need to put up a better batting performance to stand any chance of winning against the Indians. Zimbabwe opening batsman Sikandar Raza Butt said the team was now mentally and physically fit having been in camp for eight weeks and is confident of upsetting India.
Butt said the players had noted mistakes they made in the opening match and would be working at improving on them.
“We were 30/40 runs short and we need to score more runs,” said Butt. “On my part, I feel I should have given Elton (Chigumbura) more strike. He was hitting the ball well but I tried to be too smart and it shouldn’t happen again. I cost the team about 20 runs but want to improve,” Butt said.