Australian news October 28, 2010

Cricket Australia to consider privately-owned teams


Cricket Australia will decide on Friday whether to allow private ownership of domestic Twenty20 teams in a shake-up it thinks could be as big as the World Series Cricket breakaway. Investors from India are believed to have shown significant interest in buying a stake in Australian sides for the revamped T20 league, which will start in 2011-12.

The new tournament is expected to feature eight city-based teams instead of the existing six state sides and how the ownership structure for those new teams is up for discussion. A four-hour presentation at Cricket Australia's annual general meeting on Thursday will be followed on Friday by a board meeting, at which a decision on private ownership will be made.

"There has been interest from private investors in being involved," a Cricket Australia spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "All of that is a matter for board determination, but it will be a big discussion."

The Australian has reported that Victoria and New South Wales have both been approached by Indian investors offering multi-million dollar deals to take minority holdings in the new Melbourne and Sydney teams. All six state capitals are expected to field a side, with two new teams to be based in growth areas.

Cricket Australia has been keen to significantly expand the Big Bash after seeing the success of the Indian Premier League, although IPL-style franchising of sides was not a priority in the initial stages. Cricket Australia's general manager of marketing, Mike McKenna, said earlier this year "sport in Australia is not full of great successes in private investment".

But the early interest from investors has given the board plenty to think about, barely a year from the expected start of the competition. The locations for the two new sides are likely to be decided early next year.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on October 29, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    I don't really care what happens with ODI and T20. If test cricket dies so be it. I'll follow my other interests with more passion and read cricket history books for memories. But let's remember, cricket has survived two world wars. Will it survive corporate greed? That's another test.

  • Kaustubh on October 29, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Guys, dont kill Cricket. Its already on death bed now. Being an Indian and true test lover, I feel its time now to think more about test cricket, not the rubbish T20. T20 is fun, but there should be a limit to it. May be about a month in a year for T20 and rest to test cricket. I follow Aussie cricket with great interest and a big supporter of Bushrangers, having stayed in Melbourne for close to 4 years. I dont want any other guys than Victorians representing Bushrangers team and am sure same is the case with other states. As rightly said by D-Train, I would not like any Victorian to represent any other Australian State side for sure. Guys, stop this non sense and focus more on playing quality cricket.

  • A on October 29, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Everyone here is dead right, this is bad idea. I don't care for the IPL one little bit, and I won't care at all for an APL or similar. And what if one of the companies decides they don't have the money mid-season anymore, they just pack up and leave? Or if we have an Allan Stanford-type investor. The game of cricket should be infinitely more important than bucketloads of investors money CA don't need. We didn't get to be No. 1 in cricket for so long selling out like this. Our state structure is the best in the money so important that we're going to throw it down the toilet in exchange for money? If this goes ahead, RIP Australian cricket...may we see you again when CA grows a brain and sees that they are killing the Australian game of cricket.

  • A on October 29, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    Putting aside the meaningless of T20 matches to start with, this is a very bad idea...look what's happening in the IPL now. Teams being cut and all hell is breaking loose. Players could end up being out of a job very very quickly...not so bad for international stars, but what about regular state players who don't earn the mega bucks? Keep the teams under the control of the state organizations, and out of the hands of private investors, be they Australian, Indian or whoever. Also, the Allan Stanford fiasco with the ECB and his Stanford T20 competition should give enough clues how big things could be in this country. For the love of God...DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!

  • Daniel on October 29, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    And another thing: If they really want to add 2 more teams, what is wrong with keeping the current 6 state teams as they are and adding the ACT and NT? There would be a precedent for that, and it would be sensible (especially seeing as how NT is currently trying to become a state). The structure of teams in domestic cricket in Australia is older than the country! Does CA think it has no longevity!? What is with this city model? First Class crowds could be increased by a factor of 10 to 20 if they just played the first class games outside the capital cities (7319 last time a NSW game was played in Newcastle, 16,000 and 17,000 the two times before that. When NSW play in Sydney they get about 1,000 to 2,000 at most). Why not play all first class games in regional centres?

  • John on October 29, 2010, 0:39 GMT

    Please don't ruin what is a great competition already...

  • hayden on October 29, 2010, 0:08 GMT

    yeah a forign owned franchise that could potentially up and leave your city just like US sports! i doubt this ideas really going to bring in interest locally. i cant see why indian investors are so keen? they must have more dollars than sense! leave domestic cricket in the hands of the state boards! i dont see why moneys the be all and end all for cricket australia at the momment, its not like they struggle to pay the bills or anything. so why uproot and change such a successful system that produces probably more international tallent than any other country just for a quick buck!? franchise sporting teams dont work well in australia, any sports thats tried has failed misserably and i dont see how or why cricket would be the exception! people in australia follow cricket as a matter of national or international pride ie to stick one up the mother country or just to kick them vics! i dont see how a franchise could capture that type of supporter

  • Francis on October 28, 2010, 23:28 GMT

    Bring it on, I say. T20 isn't cricket, it's E N T E R T A I N M E N T.

  • Daniel on October 28, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    Can't wait to go and watch the Newcastle Super Royal Challenger Kings. Ahem. We have the best domestic structure in the world. I don't understand why they want to screw with it. Well ok, I do - money. But there are more important things than money.

  • R on October 28, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    I agree with matthew thorpe - "big bash" is embarrasing. Who are these guys?

  • No featured comments at the moment.