ECB ready to offer IPL franchises stakes in The Hundred: Report

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reportedly made a tempting offer to the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises to be a part of The Hundred – an innovative league starting this July in England.

See Also: BCCI and ECB in talks over allowing Indian women players in The Hundred, says Smriti Mandhana

As per a report published in The Telegraph, each of the eight IPL franchises have been offered “25 per cent stake” in all the eight teams of The Hundred, with Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) reportedly showing interest.

Moreover, the ECB has also tried to lure the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by providing a slice of Asian television rights” to get the poster boys of world cricket like  Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, among others, on board.

The report claimed that the dialogue between the BCCI and the ECB had started before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, adding that when ECB chairman Ian Watmore and CEO Tom Harrison visited Ahmedabad for the Day-Night Test last month, they discussed The Hundred with their BCCI counterparts.

“I am not aware of it,” a senior BCCI official told IANS, while another official agreed with him.

“It is understood the ECB is considering a number of potential partnership opportunities with India as they look to capitalise on a relationship with the game’s powerhouse that has never been stronger,” said the Telegraph report, adding: “It is also expected that Indian players will be made available this summer for the women’s Hundred, potentially paving the way for the men to follow in 2022.”

In the present, Manoj Badale, the London-based owner of Rajasthan Royals, and Venky Mysore, CEO and MD of Kolkata Knight Riders, have expressed interest to invest in The Hundred.

“Yes. The ECB is investing heavily in the development of cricket in this country and with The Hundred, their marketing spends will only increase further. We are looking to increase our touch points with the UK cricketing community and hence support the growth of the game,” Badale was quoted as saying by www.sportindustry.biz two years ago.

However, officials from the two franchises say that there has been no further development since the show of interest by KKR and RR bosses when the concept of The Hundred came to the fore two years ago.

“Both Badale and Mysore had in the past mentioned that they could explore the opportunities to invest if they were to come by. However, they have not made any commitment and no development has been made so far on that front,” a franchise official aware of the two franchises’ developments told IANS.

BCCI doesn’t allow Indian cricketers to play in foreign T20 leagues. BCCI’s rule suggests that any India cricketer who has not announced formal retirement from all forms of the game — domestic and international — isn’t eligible to take part in any overseas T20 league that competes with the Indian Premier League (IPL).

(With IANS inputs)

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