As per the reports in the Telegraph, The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has hired Mike Fordham – who played a key role in launching Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2013 – in an effort to restructure their county Twenty20 competition.
Mike Fordham, the vice-president at IMG, who is expected to join the ECB next month, was also involved in the secret Project Victoria proposal produced by IMG in 2011, a model of how franchise cricket could work in England and be worth more than £1 billion. It led to an rancorous falling out with Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, which ended with IMG suing Clarke for defamation. They eventually settled out of court.
It has been learnt that ECB has targeted the summer of 2017 to launch its new Twenty20 competition and is strengthening its commercial team to modernize English cricket’s T20 business plans.
Colin Graves, who starts his five-year tenure as ECB chairman on May 15, will conduct a total review of English cricket and it is likely when he takes office, the stark nature of the game’s finances will be revealed.
There remains strong opposition to the prospect of franchise cricket with some sections of county cricket. Surrey, who are the commercial heavyweights of county cricket, believe the current competition needs well organized running rather than scrapping and reinventing.
It is still to be decided whether a franchise model would work in England and some people in ECB believe that a better plan would be to allow counties that struggle to sell Twenty20 matches to merge rather than completely reinvent teams.