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ECB agrees to sell Hundred teams later this year

The England and Wales Cricket board will sell stakes in the eight Hundred teams later this year and says the competition “will play a vital role in the future of our sport”.

An agreement between the ECB and the 18 first-class counties has been reached over the distribution of funds from the sales, set to be worth hundreds of millions.

The eight hosts of the teams will be given a 51% stake, which they can sell or keep, with the remaining 49% in each team sold by the ECB.

The ECB have appointed the Raine Group and Deloitte to advise on the sales, which will take place in the autumn.

Counties were previously given until 10 May to indicate if they supported the 51-49 proposal from the ECB.

At that point, a “direction of travel” was approved and an agreement on the distribution of funds has since been finalised.

Money raised from selling the 49% stakes in each team will be distributed between the 18 first-class counties, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the recreational game.

The eight hosts that receive a 51% stake can either keep all of it, part of it, or sell it all. They will indicate their decision to the ECB, with the sale of those stakes also being handled centrally.

The eight are Lord’s (MCC/London Spirit), The Oval (Surrey/Oval Invincibles), Southampton (Hampshire/Southern Brave), Cardiff (Glamorgan/Welsh Fire), Trent Bridge (Nottinghamshire/Trent Rockets), Edgbaston (Warwickshire/Birmingham Phoenix), Old Trafford (Lancashire/Manchester Originals) and Headingley (Yorkshire/Northern Superchargers).

The ECB will retain ownership of the competition itself, which began in 2021. There is no indication The Hundred will expand beyond its current eight teams until at least the end of the current broadcast cycle in 2028.

ECB director of business operations Vikram Banerjee said: “We have identified this moment as the opportunity to take The Hundred to the next level while capitalising on the global interest in the competition to underpin the structure of the whole domestic game.

“The opportunity to engage new global strategic partners will help us unlock the future potential of The Hundred. We will be looking to engage the very best in world sport to grow The Hundred into a competition which can benefit the whole of cricket for years to come.

“With proceeds from any investment going direct to the recreational and the county game, it will support the other parts of cricket which are so cherished by fans and players alike and play an important role in identifying and developing talent.”