Manchester United owners buy team in UAE T20 League

Dubai, Dec 1 (IANS): Making its first foray into cricket, Manchester United Football Club's owner Lancer Capital on Wednesday acquired a franchise in the soon-to-be-launched UAE T20 League.

The inaugural UAE T20 league, sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board, is set to feature six teams and 34 matches, taking place next year.

"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," said Avram Glazer, chairman of Lancer Capital in a statement.

The development came a week after Reliance Industries, the owner of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, also announced their investment in the league through a franchise ownership.

Notaly, Lancer Capitals was also among the final shortlisted bidders for the two new IPL franchises, eventually losing out to RPSG Group and CVC Capital, the groups that acquired the Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises respectively.

The latest investment adds to the company's portfolio in the sporting world. Apart from Manchester United, the Glazer family also owns NFL Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I am very excited to welcome Mr Glazer to the UAE T20 Family," Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE T20 League chairman, said.

"To have a partner who has invested into 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," he added.

It is also learnt that, the owners of the Knight Riders T20 teams are "on-board" to own one of the teams in the UAE event. Capri Global, which also made a failed bid for the two new IPL franchises, Big Bash League's Sydney Sixers, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, a co-owner of Delhi Capitals, are believed to be among the other interested parties.



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