Multan Sultans’ co-owner Ali Tareen is considering investing in England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) new flagship tournament, “The Hundred”.
The launch of The Hundred was delayed until atleast the start of 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic forced the ECB to put the 100-ball competition on hold for now.
The franchise-based league, featuring an American sports-style draft and 8 teams with names such as London Spirit, Southern Brave, Manchester Originals and Trent Rockets, was originally scheduled from mid-July to September.
At first, the ECB were not open to private investment in the tournament, however the financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic seems to have changed their approach as CEO Tom Harrison recently indicated at banking on some of those opportunities.
Tareen, based in Hampshire for quite some time now, reportedly wants a share in Southern Brave, but would prefer the counties to ultimately have the majority of control over the team.
“I’m a Hampshire boy who loves Hampshire cricket,” said Tareen.
“I see it as a way to benefit the counties, so they get more money. If someone with no connections owns a side, they wouldn’t give a hoot about counties. Someone like me, who’s an actual Hampshire fan, sees the real attraction of external investment as my opportunity to help Hampshire. There shouldn’t be a case where the teams are sold fully to a random owner. I’ve heard of problems occurring at the CPL when owners haven’t been vetted, as well as the Global T20 in Canada. The ECB cannot afford to have issues like these happen to their league. What I suggest is they find people not to own and run teams, but to contribute financially to them because they care about a team or have connections to that area. I get that most owners would want to control a side, but this isn’t about that,” he added.
Apart from Tareen, Shahrukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders are also reportedly looking to analyse opportunities to invest in the competition.