The Glazer family, who owns and operates Manchester United, may have fallen short of a few thousand crores in their effort to purchase an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise last month, but that hasn’t stopped them from venturing into cricket. The Glazers, along with the five-time IPL champion Mumbai Indians, Shahrukh Khan’s Knight Riders franchise, financial services firm Capri Global, Delhi Capitals’ Kiran Kumar Grandhi, and Big Bash League (BBL) club Sydney Sixers, are now part of the brand new Emirates T20 League, which is set to begin in early 2022.

The six-franchise league, which was the brainchild of former IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman and is now being run by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) with the blessings of Sheikh Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development, has been in the works for a few years and will tentatively debut in January next year.

ECB is nearing a deal with a broadcaster, and despite the IPL’s media rights tender not yet being released, there has been some interest. “In the UAE, January is a fantastic time to play cricket. The location accommodates many time zones, particularly in the west. It works well in prime time in the Indian subcontinent, as seen by the last two IPLs and the recent T20 World Cup held there,” according to industry insiders who are keeping tabs on the situation,

Raman started working on the league and the economic strategy behind it two years ago, and several IPL owners, including the traditional ‘Big Three’ MI, CSK, and KKR, were initially interested. “CSK opted out when circumstances changed and the ECB assumed over. The Mumbai Indians’ acceptance, on the other hand, was a big boost for the league’s organisers “adds sources