ECB plans privatization of The Hundred tournament; Lalit Modi, N Srinivasan likely to invest

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is in the process of privatizing its 100-ball tournament, The Hundred, which was introduced with great anticipation in 2021. The initiative will proceed once at least two-thirds of ECB’s 18 county teams give their approval.

As reported by moneycontrol, 10 county teams have ‘agreed in principle’ to the plan. Once two more teams join the list, the ECB will move forward with the revamp of The Hundred.

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Similar to T20 cricket, The Hundred involves each team playing 20 overs, but with a twist: the number of deliveries per over is reduced to five from six, resulting in each team facing a maximum of 100 legal deliveries per innings.

Reports suggest that Lalit Modi, former IPL commissioner, and former BCCI president N Srinivasan could be among the investors interested in the tournament, which is expected to launch by 2025.

There’s speculation that the number of teams for the private league could be expanded beyond the current eight teams. Modi, who resides in London, is rumored to have offered ‘to bring in a billion-dollar investment’ for the revamped private league.

On the other hand, Srinivasan’s company owns teams in IPL, SA20, and MLC, indicating a potential interest in diversifying investments.

According to an unnamed source quoted by the publication, “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.”

Several IPL franchise owners, including Mumbai Indians, Lucknow Super Giants, and Kolkata Knight Riders, have reportedly shown keen interest in the ‘new project’.

“As for Rajasthan Royals, well, the franchise operates out of the UK and Jaipur, considering their owner is based out of London. So, England is as good as home,” said a source.