Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are planning to invest in the new flagship tournament of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) 'The Hundred'. According to a report in The Telegraph, the Kolkata-based franchise, which is co-owned by Red Chillies Entertainment, Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta, is looking to invest in ECB's one of a kind tournament. 'The Hundred', which was supposed to take place this year, was postponed to the next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The global pandemic is set to hit ECB financially as they might lose over 380 million pounds if the entire season is called off due to the ongoing crisis. The report further said that the ECB is reconsidering its earlier stance of disallowing private investment in the tournament. Last week, the ECB had postponed The Hundred's inaugural edition to next year. It was slated to start in July.
The cricketing action which was set to resume on April 2 has also been postponed. There will be no cricket played now until the start of July at the earliest. On the other hand, this could present another fine opportunity for the Knight Riders brand to make themselves global on a larger scale. KKR owners also have a team in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). KKR had bought the Trinidad franchise in 2015, which was previously known as Trinidad and Tobago Red and Steel. Since their acquisition, Trinbago Knight Riders have won the title thrice in 5 seasons.
According to media reports, the Oakwell Sports Advisory recently advised the ECB to turn central payments to their counties from The Hundred into equity stakes in order to open it up for private investment. The Oakwell Sports Advisory stated that such a move would prompt each of the franchise in The Hundred to own their share in the revenue distribution as an equity stake as well. They recommended that through privatising The Hundred, ECB will be able to attract even Indian Premier League (IPL) owners to invest in the 100-ball tournament.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does not allow its players to participate in overseas T20 leagues. The Oakwell report further stated that the same could change if IPL ownership is involved in The Hundred, thus attracting Indian fans and viewers, who constitute a vast majority of global cricket audiences. The report also pointed out that the involvement of Indian players and IPL franchises would generate revenues out of India, which would further help ECB and The Hundred to generate a strong fan base in the Indian subcontinent.