The Knight Riders Group, which is co-owned by Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, has acquired a T20 franchise, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in UAE's T20 League. The Group confirmed the news on Thursday and stated that the Abu Dhabi franchise will be an integral part of the UAE's flagship T20 league. Notably, the Group already owns a cricket franchise in the Indian Premier League, CPL, and MLC. The Abu Dhabi Knight Riders will be its fourth such venture in the T20 league.
The 6-team league, which will have 34 matches, is set to have its inaugural edition later this year. The other five groups which have acquired franchises in the UAE's T20 league are the Glazer Family of Manchester United, Reliance Industries owns Mumbai Indians (IPL), and GMR Group of Delhi Capitals (IPL), Adani Group and Capri Global.
In a statement released by the Group, co-owner Shah Rukh Khan was quoted as saying, "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."
Chairman of UAE's T20 League, Khalid Ali Zarooni, believes that the experience of Knight Riders Group through their involvement in franchise cricket across the world is undisputed, and their association with UAE's T20 League will elevate the reputation and professionalism of the League throughout the cricket community. "We are exceptionally pleased with their foresight to join forces with the UAE's T20 League," Mr Zaroomi said in the released statement.
The CEO of KKR, Mr Venky Mysore, also feels fortunate to have been consistently recognized as a global brand in T20 cricket and believes that the group will contribute significantly to growing the sport worldwide. "We have had a keen interest in the developments in the UAE, and our expansion is consistent with our long-term strategy," he said. Speaking of Knight Riders' franchise in IPL, they are currently in the race to qualify for the playoffs in the ongoing season. The team, led by Shreyas Iyer, is at the 7th spot with 10 points from 12 matches.