Warwickshire CCC suffered a financial hit likely to exceed £250,000 when rain ruined the Edgbaston Test match this month.
And the club's chief executive Colin Povey has warned the club will have to “sweat hard” to make up the shortfall caused by the complete loss of three of the five days of England’s game against West Indies.
The wet early-June weather was a huge disapppointment for ticket-holders and also, with the last-day washout, robbed Ian Bell (76 not out) of a chance to become the first Warwickshire player to score a century for England in an Edgbaston Test.
But most significantly, the constant rain also left the county club, in the early stages of repayment of their £20million debt to Birmingham City Council, counting a heavy cost.
“We are a substantial sum down on what we budgeted for from the Test match,” Povey said. "We don’t know the exact figure yet but it will be well into six figures and could well top £250,000.
“We were down on budgeted sales before the game and, because of the rain, didn’t make up the deficit as we would have expected to do.
"We did rein back the costs during the Test. The police were helpful, stewarding and catering staff numbers were cut back.
“So there was some damage limitation but we are going to have to sweat hard this year to make up for it.
“We have to work very hard to make the most of what is left this season. We have budgeted to be pretty full for the one-day-international against Australia so there is not a lot of scope to outperform expectations there, but we have budgeted very prudently for the T20.
“There is a good chance that we will significantly outperform that. The Worcestershire game last Friday would have been a great opportunity to make up some of the last ground so it was unfortunate that it was rained off too, but we were insured against that.
“The challenge for us now is to try and get back as close as we can to the budgets we had planned. But with the shorter-format games it will be a struggle to make up what we would have made during the long days of a Test match.”
A wet June was the last thing Warwickshire needed as they grapple with the their huge debt. With no Test matches at Edgbaston for the next two years, every revenue-raising sinew will have to be strained by the county, but all the recent grey clouds at least have a silver lining in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.
Povey is confident that the Edgbastom’s hosting of five Champions Trophy matches, including the final, next summer will fill the financial gap next year.
“The Champions Trophy package will be healthy,” he said. “We will get a good staging free up front and then a bonus driven by attendances at both our games and across the tournament.
“It will a good tournament for us. We have two warm-up games then five days of cricket including three very good fixtures, one of which is the final.
“That is great not just for us but for the city with all the global exposure it will bring.
"We have to have half an eye on the future with the World Test Championship and Women’s World Cup in 2017, England hosts World Cup in 2019 and the Test Champinship again in 2021.
"If we can make the Champions Trophy, and particularly the final, work for is next year that has to stand us in good stead.
“We had an ICC inspection last Thursday and people went away very happy. And it’s dood that they are clearly mindful of making ticket prices accessible for te tournament next year.
"The top tickets will not be massively expensive.”