The Glazer Family, owners of Manchester United, on Wednesday confirmed of acquiring a franchise in the UAE T20 League, scheduled to start early next year.
They purchased a franchise in the six-team league through parent company Lancer Capital.
Commenting on the development, Avram Glazer, chairman of Lancer Capital said: “I am very excited to be a part of UAE T20 at its formation. UAE T20 promises to be a world-class event that will be transformative to the growth of cricket in the Emirates.”
On the other hand, Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE T20 League chairman, said, “I am very excited to welcome Mr. Glazer to the UAE T20 Family! To have a partner who has invested in sports properties with a long-term investment perspective is a testament to the strength of the UAE T20 League’s Business Model and its value proposition to its stakeholders and an ode to the UAE as the destination of choice for global sports events.”
Meanwhile, Mubashshir Usmani, general secretary of Emirates Cricket Board, said; “We are extremely pleased that a legendary sports owner like Avie Glazer has chosen to partner with the League. This is a resounding thumbs-up to the unique opportunity that the UAE T20 league offers to experienced and established sports business owners.”
“Our partnership with Lancer Capital will enable us to combine fans of the two widely followed sports – football and cricket – in a never done before manner,” he added.
Significantly, the T20 league is sanctioned by Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and the six-team league will kick off early next year, which will consist of 34 matches.
Apart from the Glazers, Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Sidney Sixers are also expected to own teams in the league.
On November 24, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the parent company of Mumbai Indians, had announced to acquire a team in the UAE T20 League.
“Reliance Industries Limited, through its subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd (RSBVL) will be acquiring the rights to own and operate a new franchise cricket team in the Emirates Cricket Board’s upcoming UAE T20 League. The move is the first major overseas expansion of Reliance Industries’ cricket operations in the global franchise-based cricket leagues,” the organisers had said in a statement.
On the other hand, Nita Ambani, co-owner & architect of Mumbai Indians had said: “With great pride and joy, we take our Mumbai Indians brand of fearless cricket to a new geography. We are thankful to our fans, both in India and overseas, for supporting MI wholeheartedly. I look forward to strengthening and further expanding our global fanbase, and having a longer engagement with them through this new League.”
“While Mumbai Indians will continue to remain at the heart of our cricket operations, the popularity of global T20 leagues and attractiveness of the UAE market offer a unique opportunity for us to further unlock the value of our sports management expertise. It also allows us a platform to develop young international talent and share best practices both on and off the field,” she added.