Kolkata, May 6: Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore did not entirely rule out the possibility of the IPL franchise "evaluating" investment opportunities in England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)'s ambitious franchise league 'The Hundred', which had to be shelved this year due to COVID-19 pandemic.
British newspaper The Telegraph had quoted Mysore saying that they would surely be keen to "explore" investment opportunities in The Hundred. However, the KKR CEO was categorical that at this moment it's nothing more than speculations.
"I know this story is going around. All I said was 'if we are approached to consider investing in 'The Hundred', we will evaluate it'," said Mysore.
One of the owners of KKR, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, had in 2015 acquired Caribbean Premier League (CPL) side Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, who are now known as Trinbago Knight Riders, a winner of successive CPL titles in 2017 and 2018.
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 as the tournament was cancelled in 2017.
"We are the biggest brand in IPL and perhaps the only global brand in cricket. So, we can understand why leagues around the world would be interested in getting Knight Riders on board," Mysore said.
A brainchild of the ECB, The Hundred will be 100-balls-per-side format and will be played by eight franchises rather than the established 18 first-class counties.
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. The ECB, which can lose over £ 300 million if the entire season is wiped out due to the pandemic, is re-evaluating its earlier stance of not allowing private investment in the tournament, the newspaper reported.
The ECB, which can lose over 300 million pounds if the entire season is wiped out due to the pandemic, is re-evaluating its earlier stance of not allowing private investment in the tournament, the newspaper reported.
KKR owners also a have a presence in the Caribbean Premier League, having bought the Trinidad franchise in 2015. Last week, the ECB had postponed The Hundred's inaugural edition to next year. It was supposed to start in July.