The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is considering privatizing its 100-ball event, The Hundred. Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and former BCCI president N. Srinivasan could be among the Indian investors interested in reshaping The Hundred tournament.
Launched in 2021, The Hundred stands alongside England’s existing T20 tournament, the T20 Blast. It was once regarded with skepticism in the cricket community, but is now on the brink of privatization, potentially attracting investments in excess of a billion pounds.
10 County Teams Have Agreed For privatization
As reported by MoneyControl, 10 county teams have agreed to the plan, with two more needed for the ECB to proceed with The Hundred’s revamp. The fate of this endeavor rests on the approval of two-thirds (12) of the England & Wales Cricket Board’s 18 county teams.
Indian investors, notably led by IPL franchise owners, are eyeing collaborations with English counties for a revamped 2025 tournament. However, the potential infusion of capital raises questions about preserving English cricket’s essence amidst foreign investment.
Despite criticism, stakeholders favor the existing format initially. Sky, a broadcaster, refrained from funding the recent India-England series but plans to secure IPL broadcasting rights for the UK market. Their partnership with the ECB signals a long-term development.
Lalit Modi and N. Srinivasan Show Interest in The Hundred Revamp
Lalit Modi and N. Srinivasan have historical ties to English cricket. They have a keen interest in franchise opportunities, extending to The Hundred. Mumbai Indians, Lucknow Super Giants, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Rajasthan Royals reportedly eye partnerships.
Lalit Modi, based in London, is rumored to have offered a substantial billion-dollar investment for England’s revamped tournament. Meanwhile, N Srinivasan’s company holds team ownership in various cricket leagues across the world, including the IPL, SA20, and MLC.
“The IPL franchise owners are already making a good deal of money from the T20 league. It makes sense for them to invest money because they can sustain it. They’re already earning from a cricket league, so makes sense to expand and invest in another. For a complete outsider to put in money and break even at some point will be a bigger challenge,” the publication quoted an unnamed source as saying.
“As for Rajasthan Royals, well the franchise operates out of UK and Jaipur, considering their owner is based out of London. So, England is as good as home,” a source was quoted as saying.
The Hundred will also feature each team playing 20 overs, with a unique feature of five deliveries per over. This structure restricts each side to 100 legal deliveries per innings. There are considerations to expand the league beyond its current eight-team format in the future.
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