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Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant and coach Ricky Ponting, Mohammad Kaif and Pravin Amre inspect the wicekt in Dubai. Delhi Capitals co-owners GMR has acquired Dubai franchise in UAE T20 League. Image Credit: Saikat Das #saikatphotography

Dubai: Indian-based infrastructure powerhouse, GMR Group has acquired the rights to own and operate Dubai franchise in the UAE T20 League to be held in UAE.

Having been announced earlier this year, the six-team League remains well on track to be played in 2022 where senior committee members are encouraged by the enormous interest shown from a number of high-profile individuals and well-established corporates from across the world.

G.M. Rao, Group Chairman at GMR Group

G.M. Rao, Group Chairman at GMR Group, said: “UAE continues to impress with its progressive, positive mindset toward sport and the business of sport, and we believe these traits align well with our group strategy to support sports from grassroots through to international level while being effective in engaging with the community. Our group is convinced that UAE T20 League proposed structure and plans will leverage these unique traits of UAE.

“Our team has 14-seasons’ experience in managing the franchise process, through our Delhi Capital team’s involvement in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and we will integrate the same elements of these processes into UAE T20 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; “UAE T20 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 GMR Group 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, said: “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 UAE T20 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.”

Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Corporate Chairman at GMR Group

Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Corporate Chairman at GMR Group, said: “UAE, has a world-class niche of cross-cultural individuals with a big cricket fan following and excellent cricket infrastructure. We, at GMR Group, based on our years of experience in the IPL, will harness to create a thriving cricket environment to budding players, which will infinitely excite cricket aficionados. From our solid supportive management, we will bring best practices, processes, top-notch coaches, players, and support staff to have unparalleled professional team. That said, we will need your love and support all throughout the first season of this league as we solidify a high-calibre Dubai Franchise team.”

The UAE T20 League is a professional franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament established in 2020 that combines two of the most compelling aspects of global sport — world class infrastructure coupled with the most favourable time zone catering to cricket fans around the world.