HAMPSHIRE Cricket Club's majority shareholder Rod Bransgrove is reportedly in talks to sell his stake to the part owner of Delhi Capitals - the Indian Premier League franchise.

Bransgrove, who retired as chairman of Hampshire after 23 years in charge, remains the major shareholder at the Ageas Bowl side - holding more than 60 per cent of the shares.

A potential deal would make Hampshire the first county to be owned by an overseas franchise.

The Telegraph are reporting that Bransgrove is close to finding an agreement with the GMR group, who are the part-owners of the Indian side.

Hampshire are not member-owned which means that the former chairman is free to sell without fan input.

The Ageas Bowl will host an Ashes test in 2027 and achieving that has been a long-term goal for the departing chairman.

Speaking in his open letter to the fans in December, Bransgrove insisted he wants to make sure the club maintains a healthy financial position.

He said: "I have an important role now to make sure that our plans for the Ashes in 2027 are underpinned by long-term financial security.

"I promised at the outset that Hampshire Cricket will never again be threatened by insolvency and I intend to fulfil this commitment before I put my feet up."

The GMR group already own a series of cricket teams around the world such as the Dubai Capitals in the UAE and also the Seattle Orcas in the USA's Major League Cricket competition.

A Hampshire statement said: "Hampshire Sport & Leisure Holdings Ltd has made no secret of the fact that it has been investigating a number of investment options for some time now and, in the course of these investigations, the company has engaged with a number of parties under conditions of confidentiality.

"Whilst it is true that the company is fully engaged in some detailed negotiations regarding investment, the nature and content of any such investigations are subject to formal non-disclosure agreements which the company is bound to observe.

"To date, we have concluded no formal binding agreements other than NDAs. We repeat, therefore, we can make no further comment about the status of our negotiations until such time as we have something to disclose.”