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ECB Initiates Pursuit of Private Investment for The Hundred Teams

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has embarked on a quest to secure private investment for teams participating in The Hundred, the 100-ball, city-based franchise competition launched in 2021. While the tournament is presently financed by the ECB, there has been a push towards seeking external backing, with the possibility of transferring ownership to host clubs to facilitate stake sales to investors.

Richard Gould, CEO of the ECB, confirmed the organisation's intention to pursue investment at the team level rather than solely in The Hundred itself. "We're exploring how that might materialise," Gould stated to BBC Sport, emphasising The Hundred's potential as a platform for private investment to enter the cricketing landscape.

Gould further elaborated on the rationale behind seeking private investment, highlighting the need for additional funding to compete globally. Despite the ECB's commitment to The Hundred until at least 2028 as part of its broadcasting agreement with Sky Sports, there remains a disparity in player salaries compared to lucrative leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Addressing concerns about potential repercussions on funding distribution across English cricket and team marginalisation, Gould expressed confidence in the ECB's ability to ensure equitable allocation of resources within the sport's governance framework.

Looking ahead, Gould anticipates that private investment will elevate The Hundred's profile, attracting top-tier talent and fostering increased enthusiasm among broadcasters, supporters, and new fans alike.

In parallel developments, the ECB, alongside the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA), is exploring the revival of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20). Discussions have been initiated to resurrect the annual competition, which featured teams from premier T20 leagues but was discontinued in 2014 due to various challenges.

Nick Cummins, CEO of CA, acknowledged the potential of reviving the CLT20 in today's mature T20 landscape, citing active discussions between cricketing bodies. However, finding a suitable window in the crowded cricket calendar remains a significant hurdle.

Cummins suggested that the rejuvenated CLT20 might prioritise women's cricket initially, involving players from leagues such as the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), The Hundred, and possibly the Women's Premier League (WPL).


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