Friday 16 October 2020 10:14 am

The Week in Sportbiz: Uncle Sam is coming for cricket, Nigel Wray bets on fitness and sports reveal trans policies

Not content with trying to carve up the Premier League, Americans now have another English sacred cow in their sights: cricket.

The game’s Stateside governing body today announced ambitious plans to become a major mainstream sport across the Atlantic – and achieve full member status with the International Cricket Council within a decade.

USA Cricket chairman Paraag Marathe conceded that the sport was still at an “embryonic stage of development”.

But he added: “We have been encouraged by the great progress that we have been able to make across a number of different areas despite the obvious challenges of these times, and we anticipate that our growth will accelerate now that the organisational direction has been very clearly set.”

Full details of USA Cricket’s blueprint can be found here.

Wray’s home gym punt

City grandee Nigel Wray has backed a few winners over the years, so his latest investment may be one to watch.

The Saracens owner is among the investors to have pumped a combined £7.7m of funding into fitness technology outfit Jaxjox.

Dowgate Capital has also backed the US-based company, which is developing a digital home fitness platform.

Wray said: “After investing in the angel round, we were delighted to increase our stake in Jaxjox because we believe they are going to transform the home fitness market.”

Sports at odds over trans policies

The Rugby Football Union and British Cycling both published their policies on trans participation this week – with differing conclusions.

The RFU said it would resist World Rugby’s guidance to prohibit trans women from playing in the women’s game, saying more scientific evidence and consultation with players was needed.

British Cycling, however, has ruled that any trans or non-binary people wanting to take part in a women’s race would need to prove their testosterone levels had remained below a certain threshold for the previous year.

Dortmund count cost of pandemic

Borussia Dortmund have become one of the first top football clubs to demonstrate the impact of the pandemic on their finances.

Erling Braut Haaland of Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund saw revenue for the coronavirus-hit fourth quarter drop by 25 per cent (AFP via Getty Images)

The German club this week announced a €60m (£54m) annual loss for 2019-20 as revenues for the coronavirus-affected fourth quarter fell 25 per cent year-on-year.

Income for the whole year was €370m (£330m), down from €377m in 2018-19, causing Dortmund to scrap plans for its usual dividend.

British track and trace success at last

Domestic efforts to track and trace might leave plenty to be desired, but one British project has at least had some success.

Tech firm Restrata has added the Indian Premier League to its expanding portfolio of clients, having worked on England Test cricket and a pilot event at the Kia Oval earlier this year.