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IPL’s dominance to extend as franchises interested in acquiring stake in The Hundred team, reveals Mark Nicholas

The Indian Premier League franchises could soon make their presence felt in England too as Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) president Mark Nicholas has revealed that as many as five IPL franchises have expressed interest in acquiring a stake in London Spirit. The London-based outfit is one of the eight teams competing in The Hundred.

The IPL franchises are associated with a number of T20 leagues across the globe. They have teams in the Caribbean Premier League, Major League Cricket, ILT20 as well as SA20. And they could soon have their own teams in England as well.

Mark Nicholas revealed the IPL franchises’ plans while announcing the plans for the World Cricket Connects symposium at Lord’s. The ace commentator is set to take over as London Spirit’s chairman in October this year. Recently, MCC CEO Guy Lavender wrote a letter to the club members to seek their approval for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s offer to privatize a 49 percent stake in the Spirit.

While Nicholas did not reveal the names of the IPL franchises, he made it clear that they are interested in associating with The Hundred. The stakeholders will be finalized through a bidding process while the remaining 51 percent will remain with the franchise.

“What we are putting to a vote is to accept the ECB’s offer of a 51% share of this franchise,” Nicholas told ESPNCricinfo.

“We will always be a members’ club. The first target is membership harmony [because] as a member you are entitled to a view. It’s very easy to knock people back because they’re difficult, but actually there is quite a lot of good thinking that comes out of activism. You have to treat people with respect, and hear their view,” he added.

The Hundred has given us another opportunity: Mark Nicholas

The ECB is planning to privatize the Hundred. The board is planning to privatize the competition by creating eight new companies and gifting 51% of the shares in them to the relevant host county. The remaining 49 percent will be sold to private investors through a bidding process.

Nicholas highlighted how the ECB missed out on T20 cricket and India capitalized on it by launching the highly successful IPL. He further stated that The Hundred has given the ECB another opportunity to make amends.

“We missed out on T20 in 2003 where we could have grabbed it,” said Nicholas. “India thought quicker than us (on the IPL) and were smarter than us, as India often is. India moves at an extraordinary pace to make things work.

“So the Hundred has given us another opportunity. The [MCC] membership quite likes being part of the chat, not being consigned to a piece of history. The members I talk to really love the idea of having a team, love the opportunity that it brings. There will be financial opportunity, either in growth of the equity or in sale of the equity,” he added.

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