India’s Oz Twenty20 investment plans bigger than ‘Kerry Packer moment’: CA

Thursday, October 28, 2010

SYDNEY - Cricket Australia has described the plans of Indian investors trying to seize a share in the country’s Twenty20 Big Bash as the most significant development since World Series Cricket.

According to reports, New South Wales and Victoria have already sold shares to Indian corporations for around 60 million dollars.

“It’s a moment as big, if not bigger, than the Kerry Packer moment when his role resulted in one-day international cricket taking off and basically funding the development of Australian and world cricket for 25 or so years,” Fox Sports quoted Peter Young, CA spokesman, as saying.

It is also believed that Indian investors want a 49 per cent share in NSW Cricket’s ‘Blues Inc’, which is a separate business entity set up to run the state’s Twenty20 franchises.

“The Twenty20 franchises in Australia could eventually be worth 80 million dollars each. It’s a staggering amount of money considering an NRL club like Brisbane Broncos is valued at around 30 million dollars,” one cricket insider said.

“That’s why the Indian corporations are so keen to get involved as an investment. One-day cricket is dying, the only Tests people care about are the Ashes and India, and everyone knows Twenty20 is the future of the game,” the insider added.

Meanwhile, a NSW official claimed that CA is under massive pressure to accept private investors.

“The door to private investment was opened four years ago via the Indian Premier League and this has seen an influx of funds into the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) coffers whilst other countries simply provide their players and support this revenue growth in the process,” the official said.

“While India has thrived, Cricket Australia’s revenues have taken a hit given the GFC, the strength of the Australian dollar, with less tourists coming, and declining gates. Cricket needs an injection of capital that will allow it to compete for the younger audience and women the game desperately needs,” he added. (ANI)

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