According to a report from The Telegraph, the Chief Executive of the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, Mr. Venky Mysore, has considered investing in the new England based competition, The Hundred, which has been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the moment, the sole proprietor of the tournament is the ECB, but given the financial losses incurred due to the ongoing suspension of cricket, it could force them to change their stance, and consider private investment.
“We are perhaps the only genuine global brand in cricket and our strategy has always been to look at opportunities to invest in cricket globally,” Mysore said. “All leagues around the world understand the value that Knight Riders bring to any league and to that extent we will surely be keen to explore (investment opportunities). I think leagues are also realising the value of having investors such as us who bring our brand, professional management, marketing ideas and huge fan base.”
Red Chillies Entertainment, the owners of Kolkata Knight Riders, co owned by filmstar Shahrukh Khan, also own the Caribbean franchise Trinbago Knight Riders, based on the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. They bought the Caribbean franchise 5 years ago.
They also had acquired a third team, the Cape Town franchise in Cricket South Africa’s Global T20 league which however did not see the light of the day and was cancelled in 2017. Investing in the Hundred would mean that the company would affirm to their plans of seeking opportunities to “invest in cricket globally.”
The Hundred will be played in a 100 balls per innings format by eight franchises rather than the established 18 first class County Clubs. It was slated for a July start but only to be pushed till 2021 with ECB grappling in financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, they are slated to incur a loss of over GBP 300 million, if the upcoming season is wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, an investment from the Kolkata Knight Riders might prove to be a boon for them.