Sydney: Cricket Australia is reportedly close finalizing an agreement to rope in private investors for domestic Twenty20 games.
Chief Executive James Sutherland described the development as a potentially huge turning point in Australian cricket, probably matching the Kerry Packer-led revolution of the late 1970s.
A significant portion of Thursday’s Cricket Australia annual general meeting and Friday’s board meeting will be devoted to the privatisation issue, which The Sun- Herald understands is being heavily pushed by the state associations, particularly New South Wales and Victoria.
Analysis commissioned by Cricket Australia indicates that Twenty20 teams will become among the most valuable teams in Australian sport over the next 20 years, which has sparked the interest of private investors, some of whom have already indicated their intention to invest.
According to The Sun-Herald, the new competition would be based on the Indian Premier League model, including a move towards a club competition rather than states, as well as the involvement of foreign players.
“There has been a lot of discussion over the past couple of months about whether there should be private ownership, like the Indian model, which has been very successful overall. This would be a distinctly Australian model, but there will be similarities with the IPL in that it will include foreign players and perhaps private shareholders in some capacity, depending on the mood of the board,” said Peter Brown, Cricket Australia spokesman.
Players are keen on the idea, as it would mean a financial boost for many who earn relatively little.