ECB receives £400m bid for private equity stake in Hundred

A private equity firm has made a £400 million bid for a 75 per cent stake in the Hundred, in what has been described as a potentially “game-changing” development for the future of English cricket.

According to Sky News, Bridgepoint Group, the London-listed buyout firm, has approached the ECB with a proposal that could inject up to £300 million of new money into English cricket – likely to be Despite its disadvantages, it is likely to appeal. Cash-strapped countries after the CoVID-19 pandemic.

However, while the Hundred was envisioned by the ECB to be an entirely new revenue stream – one that could enable the board to wean itself off dependence on international cricket as the sport’s primary earner. As – the expectation is that this particular offer will be refused, it is unlikely that the ECB will want to relinquish control of its new product after only two full seasons of competition.

Addressing. Guardian This week, Richard Thomson, the new chair, indicated the direction of the Hundred’s journey, particularly in light of the explosion of interest in franchise T20 competitions around the world, the latest with the UAE’s ITL20 and South Africa’s SA20. Profitable growth. Calendar

“There’s a feeding frenzy right now,” Thompson said. “Rights holders have never seen as much of a boom as they have. [recently] And the Hundred will undoubtedly gain more and more interest as a unique format that will find an audience that others don’t.

“We’re open but treading carefully in this space. We’re not going to rush. It’s only two years, we can’t be greedy, we have to watch it play out. The worst thing is to do something too soon. ., then watch the price go through the roof and you lose and someone else gains. It’s important to let it grow and develop first.”

Although the Hundred is locked in the ECB’s calendar until 2028, the free-to-air element that was crucial to its launch remains to be renegotiated from 2025 onwards. However, the huge potential of the Women’s Hundred is said to be a particular focus for the investment group, with the ECB reporting a record 271,000 attendances at women’s matches in the 2022 season.

Bridgepoint’s track record includes many years of investment in MotoGP, while also overseeing the commercial development of the Winter Olympics through its media rights agency, InFront. The group also recently sought an agreement to invest in the Women’s Super League in soccer, but failed to reach a formal agreement.

The bid comes at a critical juncture for the future of English cricket, with the game already grappling with the implications of Andrew Strauss’ recent High Performance Review, which has, among other things, reduced red ball cricket and a month-long break. It was recommended. Window for the Hundred in August. Many of the review provisions have been rejected by the counties, with the Hundred’s importance in the calendar already a source of contention for many.

The ECB declined to comment when contacted by ESPNcricinfo.

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