INDIAN Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals is understood to have launched a bid to take over Yorkshire Club as the ECB intends to open up cricket to overseas investment.
The winner of the 2008 IPL title offered £25 million to take full control at Headingley, Mail Sports reported.
If Rajasthan succeeds in its bid, Yorkshire will be the first English county club to be owned by a foreign franchise.
London-based businessman Manoj Badale owns a majority stake in Rajasthan through his company Emerging Media.
Yorkshire, which owes £15m to the family trust of former chairman Colin Graves, held discussions with other IPL franchises and Saudi Arabian Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud to raise funds for meeting its repayment obligation. If it borrows the money, Yorkshire’s members can retain control of the 160-year-old club and its iconic Headingley stadium.
It was also reported last week that Yorkshire weighed the option of selling the club to former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.
If Rajasthan eventually buys Yorkshire, the deal will bring The Hundred franchise Northern Superchargers under its control.
The report said Yorkshire’s executive team is considering Rajasthan’s offer, which the board will discuss later this month.
The county club has not commented on the matter.
Rajasthan also holds stakes in the Caribbean Premier League franchise Barbados Royals and the South African club Paarl Royals.