The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is reportedly luring Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises by offering them stakes in The Hundred, an innovative league starting this July in England. According to a Telegraph report, each of the eight IPL franchises have been offered “25 per cent stake” in all the eight teams of The Hundred, with Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) reportedly showing interest.
Besides, the ECB has also offered the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) a “slice of Asian television rights” to get the glamour boys of world cricket, such as Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, among others, to play in The Hundred. The talks between the BCCI and the ECB had started before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, said the report. It also said that when ECB chair Ian Watmore and CEO Tom Harrison visited Ahmedabad for the India-England pink ball Test last month, they discussed The Hundred with the BCCI officials. Two senior BCCI officials, however, said that they were not aware of any development or talks between the ECB and the BCCI regarding The Hundred.
The BCCI does not allow players to play in overseas T20 leagues. If an Indian cricketer wants to play in an overseas T20 franchise league, he has to retire officially from Indian cricket, and inform the BCCI. A lot of pieces of the jigsaw will have to fall in place for the BCCI to agree to the ECB proposal. One of the main factors will be the workload of the Indian superstars like Kohli and Bumrah. Kohli, in fact, had expressed his views on The Hundred as early as 2018 when the ECB was planning the event. “I don’t want to be a testing sort of a cricketer for any new format. I don’t want to be someone who’s going to be part of that World XI who comes and launches the 100-ball format,” he had said.
The Hundred will be played from July 22 to August 21, with the final slated at Lord’s, London.
The eight teams are: Birmingham Phoenix, London Spirit, Manchester Originals, Northern Superchargers, Oval Invincibles, Southern Brave, Trent Rockets and Welsh Fire. Each innings in a match will comprise 100 balls. Whoever scores the most runs wins. The fielding side changes ends after every 10 balls. Each bowler will deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls, and can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per game.