In a groundbreaking move, the Delhi Capitals (DC), a prominent Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, is reportedly in advanced discussions to acquire a significant stake in the Hampshire County Cricket Club.
Reports suggest that Rod Bransgrove, Hampshire’s majority shareholder, is on the verge of finalizing a deal with GMR Group, co-owner of DC. If the agreement materializes, it will mark a historic moment, as Hampshire is poised to become the first county club owned by an overseas franchise.
Bransgrove, who served as Hampshire’s long-term chairman until the end of 2023, continues to hold over 60 percent of the shares, making him the majority shareholder. Sources indicate that this move could signal a shift in the ownership model for county clubs, with more clubs potentially considering partnerships with external entities.
The Telegraph Sport report highlights Bransgrove’s influential role in Hampshire’s development during his tenure. Notably, he spearheaded significant changes, including the establishment of the renowned Ageas Bowl.
This iconic venue is set to host an Ashes Test in 2027, along with Tests against India in 2029 and 2030. Bransgrove, actively seeking to sell his shares for some time, emphasized his commitment to ensuring long-term financial security for Hampshire Cricket in an open letter to fans upon stepping down last month.
GMR Group, holding a 50 percent stake in both the Delhi Capitals IPL and Women’s Premier League (WPL) teams, is a key player in the potential acquisition. The conglomerate also owns the Dubai Capitals in the UAE’s ILT20 and shares ownership of the Seattle Orcas in the USA’s Major League Cricket.
Meanwhile, JSW Group, the other co-owner of Delhi Capitals, has a subsidiary, Pretoria Capitals, participating in South Africa’s SA20.