Cricket Australia today approved overseas private investments in its revamped IPL-style Twenty20 tournament from next year, paving the way for Indian companies and individuals to become minority stake holders of the teams.
Some $60 billion have reportedly flown into Aussie cricket's coffers from Indian investors.
Announcing the launch of Big Bash Bash Twenty20 League from 2011-12 after the Cricket Australia Board meeting here, CA chief executive James Sutherland said minority private ownership of franchisees has been approved and the process of seeking expressions of interest will start after working out the details.
"The Board has approved investment of minority holdings in each of the respective teams and the details of that will be further contemplated in the coming weeks. It will, over the coming months, consider the terms under which that private investment may take place but the Board is certainly open to that," Sutherland said at a press conference.
"I think it's interesting to see the sort of values one might place on these teams based on the investor interest; certainly compared to other sporting franchises or teams around this country it puts these Big Bash teams at an all new level and as high a value as any sporting team in the country," he said.
Sutherland said various models of private ownership will have to be looked into and details worked out in order to make sure it works for everyone.
"All of the teams may well have private investment, we'll see how things unfold and what expressions of interest may come through in terms of investment, but as a matter of principle the board has approved minority holdings as being the level of investment they will permit.
"There are certainly opportunities (from private investors) on the table and they are opportunities that will be explored over the coming weeks once we've worked through the detail," said Sutherland who had predicted that the BBL can revolutionise the game just like the Kerry Packer World Series did three decades ago.
Media reports had claimed that Indian companies are waiting to take the plunge by splashing big sums of money in the eight franchisees of BBL once private investment is approved by the CA.
The reports even said that Australia's most powerful cricket states NSW and Victoria will have Indian part-owners as they have already sold shares to giant Indian corporations for around USD 60 million in return for profits from the IPL-type eight-team Twenty20 tournament.
'Daily Telegraph' said Brisbane-based