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NEW DELHI : Delhi-based infrastructure company GMR Group has acquired the rights to own and operate a Dubai franchise in the T20 League in UAE.

The six-team league that will be played in 2022 has been sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board, and will be held annually. For the initial few years, it will feature six franchise teams competing in a 34-match event, and will involve some big names in the world of cricket. It will also provide a platform and exposure to upcoming young players.

GM Rao, group chairman at the group said; “UAE continues to impress with its progressive, positive mind-set toward sport and the business of sport, and we believe these traits align well with our group strategy to support sports from grass-roots through to international level while being effective in engaging with the community. Our group is convinced that the league's proposed structure and plans will leverage these unique traits of the UAE."

GMR Group is also the co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) team Delhi Capitals.

He added, “Our team has 14-seasons’ experience in managing the franchise process, through our Delhi Capital team’s involvement in the IPL, and we will integrate the same elements of these processes into the league and help establish it as a premier and an integral part of the global cricket ecosystem."

Khalid Al Zarooni, vice chairman at Emirates Cricket Board said; “The league considers itself very fortunate to have engaged in a series of very meaningful discussions with various potential stakeholders interested in investing in our league. These discussions have proven very rewarding culminating in us being extremely honoured to welcome them as our partner. The standing of this league, across the cricketing world, is vitally important to us, and we have aligned ourselves with partners that share the same values toward the game; holding its spirit, integrity and longevity to the highest regard."

Mubashshir Usmani, general secretary at Emirates Cricket Board added; “As an ICC Associate Member Emirates Cricket is cognisant of the need to compete against ICC full members to further develop player skills and match performance. At its heart, the league will provide this opportunity for players within the associate structure to play alongside world class Internationals and be provided with a much-needed opportunity to showcase their skills to a wider audience. We are confident this league will quickly establish itself as one of our pioneering events and will shape cricket to new heights."

In November last year, Reliance Industries, through its subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd (RSBVL) had announced that it acquired the rights to own and operate a new franchise cricket team in the league. The company said it is the first major overseas expansion of Reliance Industries’ cricket operations in the global franchise-based cricket leagues.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Varuni Khosla

Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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