The IPL franchise Mumbai Indians’ owners, Reliance Industries Limited are set to widen the scope in the T20 arena. They have confirmed that they will own a team in the upcoming T20 league based in the UAE.
MI is the most successful franchise in T20 cricket and has one of the most well-run managements. They are also the team with the highest brand value – estimated at Rs. 761 cr as of October 2021. Such a gargantuan institute associated with the UAE T20 league will be immense for the growth of cricket in the region.
“We are extremely proud to have created a global franchise in Mumbai Indians, integrated with high values and ethos and our contribution to the Indian cricket ecosystem,”
“We are equally confident of shaping another successful brand in the UAE and bring in our experiences to benefit the growth of cricket in the UAE,”Akash Ambani, owner of Mumbai Indians, stated.
The Emirates Cricket Board sanctioned the six-team league and is eyeing a January-February window. The inaugural edition of the league is likely to take place in February-March.
The board has formed an operational team to oversee the league, led by board’s vice-chairman, Khalid Al Zarooni, general secretary Mubashir Usmani, and advisor Subhan Ahmed.
Usmani said that the board is delighted with the trust shown by prominent business houses in this T20 venture. He welcomed Mumbai Indians on board stating that their association will be mutually beneficial for both the league and the franchise.
“Having seen the professionalism in the operations of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, their success in putting together the most successful team in franchise cricket, we are very confident that this association will be mutually beneficial,”Usmani said.
Some reports suggest that the owners of Kolkata Knight Riders are also in the race to own a team in the league. Other potential parties include the Glazers – Manchester United owners, Big Bash League’s Sydney Sixers, Capri Global and Kiran Kumar Gandhi – Delhi Capitals co-owner.
The Knight Riders group already own a team in the Caribbean Premier League and have bought stakes in the USA-based Major Cricket League last year.