Cricket-Australia board reports slight deficit in 2020/21 after COVID-hit year

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MELBOURNE - Cricket Australia (CA) had a 6% increase in revenues to A$414.7 million ($306.38 million) in its 2020/21 accounts but posted a slight deficit due to the effects of COVID-19, the board said on Thursday.

CA reported a A$151,000 deficit which it said was an improvement on budgetary expectations but also a "significant adverse variation" from its four-year cycle projections.

Australia hosted India over the home summer in a lucrative four-test series worth about A$400 million to the domestic game but cancelled a number of other internationals and faced crowd restrictions at matches due to health orders.

CA, which cut dozens of staff last year, said it had saved A$54 million in "efficiencies" but had to spend A$23 million on additional COVID-related costs to keep the game safe.

"We should all be proud of the way the sport rose to the challenges of COVID-19 to stage a hugely successful Indian tour last summer and ensure the Ashes can go ahead this summer," said CA Chairman Richard Freudenstein, who replaced Earl Eddings after his resignation on Wednesday.

Australia host England in the Ashes test series from Dec. 8 in Brisbane.

($1 = 1.3535 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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