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Reliance Industries, through its subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd (RSBVL) has announced that it is set to acquire the rights to own and operate a new franchise cricket team in the Emirates Cricket Board’s upcoming UAE T20 League. 

The company said it is the first major overseas expansion of Reliance Industries’ cricket operations in the global franchise-based cricket leagues.

RIL owns Mumbai Indians and is one of the eight founding members of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The company's cricket business will now include these two cricket clubs in addition to its other cricket related initiatives like sponsorship, consultancy, broadcast and talent management.

Recent media reports also said that Kolkata Knight Riders owners as well as the English football club Manchester United owners, the Glazer family are also set to buy two teams.

The chairman of the UAE T20 League and vice chairman, ECB, Khalid Al Zarooni said the investment in the T20 league demonstrates the confidence of the corporate industry in UAE’s ability to deliver a world-class cricketing event.

“We aim to transform cricket in UAE and our wider plan includes expansion of cricket through development programs conducted here by the league franchisees including talent hunts, coaching, and training," he said.

Nita Ambani, co-owner of Mumbai Indians said, “We take our Mumbai Indians brand of cricket to new geography. I look forward to strengthening and further expanding our global fanbase, and having a longer engagement with them through this new league".

She added that while Mumbai Indians will continue to remain at the heart of our cricket operations, the popularity of global T20 leagues and the attractiveness of the UAE market offer an opportunity for them to unlock the value of the company's sports management expertise.

Mubashshir Usmani, general secretary ECB added that the trust being shown by business houses in the UAE league is encouraging. The league sanctioned by Emirates Cricket Board 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 names in world cricket and provide a platform and exposure to upcoming young cricketers.

Reliance had a consolidated turnover of 5,39,238 crore, profit of 79,828 crore, and net profit of 53,739 crore for the year ended March 2021.

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