ECB rejects Lalit Modi’s offer to revamp The Hundred

English cricket board is reluctant to lose control over the tournament and is wary of antagonising the Indian cricket board

FILE PHOTO: Lalit Modi leaves the High Court in central London on March 5, 2012. (CARL COURT/AFP via Getty Images)

Shajil Kumar

English cricket has turned down a billion-dollar offer from Lalit Modi to revamp The Hundred tournament, The Telegraph reports.

Modi had earlier founded the hugely popular Indian Premier League but is currently at loggerheads with the Indian cricket board.

His representatives met with the top officials of the England and Wales Cricket Board with a 10-year offer to buy The Hundred and fund it through private investment.

However, the ECB has made it clear that it does not favour losing control of the tournament, launched in 2021, with an absolute sale.

It is also worried that doing business with Modi will anger the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Modi was banned for life by the Indian cricket board in 2013 for financial irregularities related to bids for two new franchises in 2010.

He was forced to leave India and has lived in London since.

Modi had earlier suggested restructuring The Hundred into a T20 format which has worked successfully for IPL.

Modi told The Telegraph that a lot of investors are in touch with him, but the ECB has imposed a lot of conditions.

The IPL founder had put the value of The Hundred competition at $100 million a year over 10 years and wants the franchises to be mainly English-owned and IPL teams should not own more than two franchises.

Modi believes revamping The Hundred competition will make it second only to the IPL in terms of financial clout.

Last year, the ECB turned down a similar offer from the Bridgepoint Group worth £400 million for a 75 per cent stake in The Hundred. ECB chairman Richard Thompson had said he would consider an offer only if it was over a billion.

ECB has since pursued a strategy of selling equity in the teams, with the board retaining ownership of the competition.