London:The England and Wales Cricket Board faces a financial crunch next year as it may have to pay a USD eight million bill in case the postponed Champions Trophy in Pakistan is cancelled altogether due to security fears.
According to a report in 'The Times', if the eight-team event does not go ahead next year as planned then the ICC may be faced with a $70-80 million compensation claim from their TV broadcast partners ESPN-STAR Sports.
The governing body may ask member boards to shell out the money. The ECB fears that the security situation may not improve much even next year resulting in a financial burden that it would find hard to cope with.
The ECB's audit committee has already asked the Board to spend judiciously next year. ECB chairman Giles Clarke wrote to the counties last week warning that the Board may not make any profit next year as even a successful hosting of the Twenty20 World Championship is unlikely to help the finances much.
The ECB is also bracing up for a reduction of upto 25 per cent in their public funding as 'Sport England' is more focussed on the 2012 London Olympic Games.