Reliance to own a team in UAE-based T20 league

The proprietors of the Mumbai Indians IPL franchise, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), have revealed that they will own one of the teams in the new UAE T20 League. Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani stated in a statement, “We are tremendously delighted to have developed a worldwide franchise in Mumbai Indians, combined with high values and ethos and our commitment to the Indian cricket environment. We are equally optimistic in building another strong brand in the UAE and bringing our experiences to the advantage of cricket’s growth in the UAE.”

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has sanctioned the six-team league, which is trying to fill a slot in the January-February window, though its inaugural edition in 2022 is expected to take place in February-March. Despite the fact that the ECB has granted the league sanction, it is being directed by a team that includes the board’s vice-chairman, Khalid Al Zarooni, general secretary Mubashir Usmani, and Subhan Ahmed, a board advisor and former senior PCB official. They’ll be in charge of an operational team that will almost certainly include former IMG officials.

Usmani was pleased with Mumbai Indians’ decision to join the UAE T20 League. “The confidence demonstrated in the UAE T20 League by renowned business houses is tremendously encouraging,” he remarked. “We are thrilled with RIL’s role as a franchise team owner in the league. We are very confident that this association will be mutually beneficial for both RIL and the League, and will support cricket development in the UAE, based on the professionalism of Mumbai Indians’ operations in the IPL, their success in putting together the most successful team in franchise cricket, and the passion with which they pursue their goals.”

According to a source close to the league’s plans, the owners of the Knight Riders club are “on board” to own one of the teams. The Glazer family, who control Manchester United, Capri Global, who recently bid for an IPL franchise but were unsuccessful, the Big Bash League’s Sydney Sixers, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, a co-owner of Delhi Capitals, are all potential club owners.

The Knight Riders group also owns a club in the Caribbean Premier League (Trinbago Knight Riders) and will purchase a “substantial” stake in the Major League Cricket competition in the United States in December 2020.