Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Multan Sultans have reportedly joined their Indian Premier League (IPL) counterparts Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in expressing their interest of investing in teams from The Hundred. The Hundred is a 100-ball tournament organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and it was scheduled to launch in July this year. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and lockdown across the United Kingdom (UK) forced the ECB to shift the much-awaited tournament to 2021.
Earlier, the ECB rejected the idea of private investment in The Hundred. However, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the UK lockdown situation, the board is expected to suffer a major financial fallout. The financial crisis is likely to make the ECB change their stance on the matters of private investment in The Hundred with ECB CEO Tom Harrison even saying that the pandemic could well force the board to look at alternative solutions.
PSL franchise Multan Sultans owner Ali Khan Tareen recently spoke to ESPN Cricinfo on the development. The website reported that Tareen is expressing an interest to invest in the Southern Brave franchise. He said that he is a “Hampshire boy who loves Hampshire cricket”. Tareen also said that his interest in the Hampshire-based The Hundred franchise opens up an opportunity for the English county.
Meanwhile, Multan Sultans finished at the top of the PSL 2020 points table before the tournament got postponed due to the pandemic. The PSL 2020 was the first edition of the Pakistani T20 event to be entirely held in the country. Prior to the 2020 season, the PSL was either co-hosted or entirely hosted by the United Arab Emirates.
Earlier, it was also reported that KKR CEO Venky Mysore has expressed his interest in investing in one of The Hundred franchises as well. According to the same publication, Mysore responded to the rumours by claiming that he can comment on them when the KKR management has had more fruitful discussions on the same with the ECB. However, unlike the Multan Sultans, who are seemingly more altruistic to invest in the UK, KKR see this investment primarily for building such a solid business, which sees the Knight Riders brand becoming household name in different cities they own teams in, much like they did in Trinidad with the Trinbago Knight Riders and in Kolkata with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
In 2015, KKR purchased the Trinidad-based franchise and later renamed it into Trinbago Knight Riders, which changed the fortune's franchises as they have won thrice in the last 5 seasons.