ECB will only accept really lucrative offers for The Hundred, indicates chairman Richard Thompson

The England and Wales (ECB) chairman Richard Thompson has said his benchmark for selling The Hundred — a franchise 100-ball cricket tournament involving eight men’s and eight women’s teams which first took place in 2021 — was in billions, considering the fact that just one of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises was bought for USD930 million.

Recent reports have suggested the ECB is weighing up the option of selling The Hundred property for 400 million pounds, but Thompson said he “won’t sell the game short” when just one single IPL franchise is valued at just under a billion dollars.

“ECB chairman Richard Thompson has insisted that the benchmark for any sale of The Hundred should be the 760 million pounds paid for IPL franchise Lucknow Super Giants,” said a report in the Daily Mail.

“Thompson said claims that London buyout-company Bridgepoint Group had offered 400m pounds for 75 per cent of The Hundred, now two years old, were misleading. And he admitted the board would ‘need to think very long and hard if we were to sell four or five weeks of the English summer to a third party’,” said the report.

With cricket broadcast rights spelling big money for national boards across the world, Thompson wants to cash in on the “feeding frenzy” to inject more cash into the ECB.

“I’m determined we’re not going to be opportunistic about this, we’re going to be strategic,” Thompson was quoted as saying in the report.

“The tournament’s (The Hundred) only two years old. Clearly there’s a value in it, and we expected there to be interest. We won’t sell the game short. Lucknow Super Giants, one team in the IPL, sold for nearly a billion (dollars). One team! That should establish a benchmark of value. To sell the summer would need to be an extraordinary amount of money. If the IPL is worth a billion, we’d need quite a few billion to sell the summer,” he added.

“We’ll continue to talk to the county chairs about this, and if there was an absolute game-changing offer that would wipe out the debts of English cricket, of course we would look at it,” he said.

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