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Australia considers private Twenty20 sides

cricket Updated: Oct 28, 2010 11:27 IST

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Indian investors are reported to be interested in buying a stake in Australian Twenty20 clubs if a decision is made by Cricket Australia to allow private ownership.

The website Cricinfo reported on Thursday that Cricket Australia will decide on Friday whether to allow private ownership of domestic Twenty20 teams. It says Indian investors have shown significant interest in buying a stake in Australian clubs for the revamped league that will start late next year.

The Indian Premier League was an instant hit when it was launched in 2008, attracting multi-million dollar bids from some of India's leading industrialists and celebrities for the franchises. The high salaries attracted the leading players from around the world and the format became highly successful to a global audience, leading to a number of offshoots.

Cricinfo says the new Australian tournament is expected to feature eight city-based teams instead of the existing six teams which are run by the provincial cricket associations. The ownership structure for those new teams is up for discussion. A presentation at Cricket Australia's annual general meeting on Thursday will be followed on Friday by a board meeting, where a decision on private ownership is expected to be made. The Australian newspaper reported that Victoria and New South Wales states have both been approached by Indian investors offering multimillion dollar deals to take minority holdings in the new Melbourne and Sydney teams.

This week, a third Indian Premier League Twenty20 franchise was cited by India's cricket board over ownership and shareholding issues.

The Kochi franchise was given a month to resolve a shareholding dispute or face termination. The team must address a 25 percent stake that was given free of charge to a sports management company. Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab had their licenses revoked earlier this month due to ownership structures which did not conform with original bids.