Dubai: UAE’s Twenty20 League is delighted to announce that the Knight Riders Group has acquired the rights to own and operate the Abu Dhabi franchise and will set up Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (ADKR) as an integral part of the UAE’s flagship T20 league.
Over the last decade, the Knight Riders Group has become a household name in T20 cricket. After establishing Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2008 in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Knight Riders became owners of the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2015. Recently, the Knight Riders Group made a significant investment in Major League Cricket (MLC) in the USA and intends to set up a franchise in the greater Los Angeles area. This investment by the Knight Riders Group, which is led by Bollywood superstar, Shah Rukh Khan, along with Juhi Chawla & her husband Jay Mehta, will establish their fourth T20 franchise around the world in IPL, CPL, MLC and now in UAE’s T20 league.
Shah Rukh Khan, commenting on the long-term agreement, said: “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.”
Elevating league's reputaion
Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE’s T20 League Chairman, said: “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 and firmly believe it will elevate the reputation, and professionalism of the League throughout the cricket community.”
UAE’s T20 League is a professional franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament with six franchise teams competing in a 34-match event. UAE’s T20 League 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. Reliance Industries Limited, Lancer Capital, the GMR Group, Capri Global and Knight Riders have acquired a team each in UAE’s T20 League.
Recognised global brand
Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary Emirates Cricket Board, said: “We are pleased with the association of the Knight Riders Group with the League as a franchise team owner, we are very confident that this association will be mutually beneficial for both Knight Riders brand and the League. UAE’s T20 League will attract some of the biggest names in world cricket while also giving a platform and international exposure to local and up and coming players.”
Kolkata are two-time IPL champions, having won in 2012 and 2014, while Trinbago are four-time CPL champions, having won in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020.
Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR and Red Chillies Entertainment, said: “We feel fortunate to have been consistently recognised as a global brand in T20 cricket. As T20 cricket expands around the world, we are flattered by the regular invitations to play a major role in growing the sport across the world. We have had a keen interest in the developments in the UAE and our expansion is consistent with our long-term strategy.”