The Knight Riders Group has expanded its brand by buying another T20 franchise. They have bagged the rights to own and operate the Abu Dhabi-based franchise in the upcoming UAE T20 League. The franchise has been named as Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, which will be a part of the six-team tournament.
This will be the fourth team in T20 franchise cricket owned by the Knight Riders Group, which is owned by Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla along with her husband Jay Mehta. They bagged the rights for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League in 2008. After KKR grew into a brand with two titles, they acquired stakes in the Carribean Premier League franchise Trinidad and Tobago in 2015.
In 2020, they bought a stake in one of the Major League Cricket franchises. They have also teamed up with MLC to build a brand-new 10,000-capacity cricket stadium in Southern California.
“For several years now, we have been expanding the Knight Riders brand globally and closely watching the potential for T20 cricket in the UAE. We are excited about becoming part of UAE’s T20 League, which no doubt will become hugely successful,”Khan was quoted as saying in a statement.
The Knight Riders Group became the sixth franchise owner in the UAE T20 League. The other five owners include Adani Group, Capri Global, Manchester United football club owners Lancer Capital, Mumbai Indians owners Reliance Industries Limited’s subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited and Delhi Capitals’ co-owners GMR group.
“The commitment to grow the T20 format and the expertise gathered by the Knight Riders Group, through their involvement in franchise cricket across the world, is undisputed. We are exceptionally pleased with their foresight to join forces with the UAE’s T20 League,”Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE T20 League chairman, stated.
The UAE T20 League will comprise 34 matches, with June 2022 being the likely window for the inaugural edition.