Big Bash opens up a pot of gold

CRICKET Australia claims that each of its eight new teams in the expanded Twenty20 Big Bash could be worth twice as much as the Brisbane Broncos.The Broncos, one of the most popular football clubs in the country from any code, were recently valued at $36 million on the stock exchange.A high-powered CA board meeting in Melbourne yesterday permitted up to one-third private ownership of the new city-based teams, which will begin operating in 13 months.

Up to $26m in private ownership will now pour into NSW and Victoria from separate Indian consortiums who the states have been courting for more than a year. However, CA chief executive James Sutherland claimed wealthy states would have to share some of their new-found riches with the remainder of the competition.

"It hasn't been decided in explicit detail how that would work but there is recognition around the board table that there needs to be some sort of equitable distribution of the proceeds of this private investment," Sutherland said.And he insisted that the states would remain in control of the six current teams, which will convert to city sides, as well as the two new teams. Sutherland pointed to the AFL structures in Western Australia and South Australia as models of how he likely the two states which are awarded a second team to run them.


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