Controversial cricket project The Hundred could expand to 10 teams and take Indian and American investment as the league looks to avoid extinction.
The England and Wales Cricket Board will continue to have meetings with counties from today with overseas investment not off the table for the current eight outfits, according to the Telegraph.
The two potential franchises would likely be based, firstly, in Durham and then across both Bristol and Taunton to make the competition more geographically diverse.
The Hundred on thin ice?
The Hundred is the shortest of the main formats played in England and Wales, with just 100 balls per side, but it has yet to establish itself overseas.
While the competition, with its draft system, has seen a number of foreign stars compete, other countries are yet to adopt the format.
Reports of overseas interest come after Indian Premier League teams were said to be interested in buying Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Today’s talks will look at a number of options ranging from a complete change in format for the competition and the status quo. Reports state that possible expansion is favoured.
The Hundred teams are not franchises and not owned by the counties in which the eight teams play, and it is thought that change is needed ahead of a new broadcast deal which could see the value of the rights plummet.
Bigger and better
In 2022 private equity firm Bridgepoint offered £300m for a 75 per cent share of the competition but this was rejected by the ECB.
“Every country needs to have a super, prime time white ball domestic comp,” ECB chief executive said earlier this year.
“We have invested very heavily in the Hundred over a number of years, both emotionally and financially. We need to make it bigger and better. We also have the Blast which we need to make bigger and better.
“We are not going to take The Hundred out. We are going to make it bigger and better. We are going to make the whole of cricket bigger and better. That is our aim.”
The ECB was approached for comment.