IPL 2021: With IPL 2022 in mind, BCCI to allow U23 players to play The Hundred

ipl 2021, the hundred, ecb media rights, ecb-bcci

IPL 2021: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is mulling to allow cricketers of U23 age category players, both capped and uncapped, to play in The Hundred from 2022. The step is reportedly being taken with next years Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 in mind. “BCCI may allow a certain category of Indian cricketers to play in The Hundred,” Times Of Indian quoted a source. However, BCCI and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are yet to come to terms.

The Indian board has been very protective of their assets be it the IPL or the Indian cricketers because the IPL loses a certain bit of exclusivity. Furthermore, the decision of allowing players to participate is made by the BCCI member association collectively.

IPL 2021: Then why is BCCI thinking of taking such a step?

With BCCI planning to expand its flagship T20 league, the step will help bring other boards on the same page. The Indian cricket board plans to increase the league to 10 teams from eight, which would mean more matches and a bigger window. Hence a quid-pro-quo is the most practical way forward.

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IPL 2021: ECB ready to offer IPL franchises stake in Hundred teams

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is also reportedly in talks to offer the IPL franchises a stake in Hundred teams. Furthermore, The England board is ready to give the BCCI a share of television rights in Asia to attract big stars like Virat Kohli, according to a report by the Telegraph UK. Both the cricket boards have been in talks pre-COVID-19 pandemic but saw some development when ECB executives were in Ahmedabad during the pink-ball Test in February. The report added that ECB are mulling over a number of potential partnerships with India.

IPL Teams in The Hundred: The options include –

  • The eight IPL franchises each taking a 25 per cent stake in an allocated Hundred team.
  • Giving the BCCI a revenue share of broadcast income in Asia, the value of which would correlate to Indian players appearing in the Hundred.

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As the pandemic delayed the progress and any development for the inaugural season this year seems unlikely. Both BCCI and ECB for the first time met face-to-face last month and there were discussions ranging more than just the Hundred.

IPL 2021: KKR and RR show interest

Besides the Hundred, the ECB hope that BCCI will see the summer seasons as a potential investment opportunity. The tickets sale for Hundred will go on sale in April, with the competition starting on July 21. It is around the same time the Indian contingent will travel to England for the five-Test series.