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Five IPL teams interested in buying stakes in Hundred club London Spirit: MCC chief Nicholas | Cricket News


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NEW DELHI: In a recent development, Mark Nicholas, the president of MCC and soon-to-be chairman of London Spirit, has disclosed that five IPL teams have shown a “soft” interest in acquiring a stake in the Lord’s based team participating in The Hundred.
Nicholas, who is also a well-known commentator and writer, made this revelation based on a letter sent by MCC CEO Guy Lavender to the members.
The letter sought the approval of the members for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s proposal to privatise 49 per cent stake in the Spirit. The remaining 51 per cent will stay with the franchise.
The interested IPL teams will be finalised through a bidding process, although Nicholas did not disclose the names of the teams that have expressed their interest.
The move to privatise a significant portion of the London Spirit franchise is expected to bring in fresh investment and expertise from the IPL, which has become a global phenomenon in the world of cricket.
The Hundred, a new 100-ball format introduced by the ECB, has garnered significant attention and has the potential to attract a wider audience to the sport.
“What we are putting to a vote is to accept the ECB’s offer of a 51 per cent share of this franchise (Spirit). We will always be a members’ club.
“The first target is membership harmony because as a member you are entitled to a view,” Nicholas said at the Lord’s while announcing the inaugural ‘World Cricket Connects’ symposium in Londo on July 5.
The BCCI secretary Jay Shah, the current India coach Rahul Dravid, and England coach Brendon McCullum are anticipated to participate in the symposium. Representatives from several IPL franchises are also expected to be present at the event.
Nevertheless, the ECB is still in the process of determining the steps leading to the bidding procedure, according to his statement.
“But the real truth is that not everything is clear yet. For example, how would the bidding process take place? What’s the rollout of these franchises in the bidding? We don’t know that yet.
“The ECB hasn’t declared that. We have met the investment bank – I’m not sure they even know yet. There’s still a lot for us to learn,” PTI quoted Nicholas as saying by ‘ESPNCricinfo’.
Nicholas further emphasized the importance of the English cricket establishment adapting to the rapidly expanding realm of franchise cricket. He pointed out that it was a sensible approach, considering England had failed to capitalize on this opportunity two decades earlier.
“We missed out on the T20 in 2003 where we could have grabbed it. India thought quicker than us and were smarter than us, as India often is. India moves at an extraordinary pace to make things work,” said Nicholas.
Nicholas, a distinguished former First-Class cricketer who amassed over 18,000 runs for Hampshire in county cricket, emphasized the significance of seizing the second chance offered to English cricket through ‘The Hundred’. He stressed that this opportunity should not be squandered.
“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 (an MCC team in the Hundred), love the opportunity that it brings.
“There will be financial opportunity, either in growth of the equity or in sale of the equity,” he said.


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