India's Capri Global buys franchise in upcoming UAE T20 League
They join the list of high-profile owners like Lancer Capital of Manchester United FC
Capri Global, a non-banking financial company based in India, has bagged one of the six franchises in the UAE T20 league, which is scheduled to be launched later this year. The acquisition is Capri Global's maiden entry into cricket and becomes the fourth franchise owner in the UAE T20 league, which is owned by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).
The other three firms that have already bought franchise rights comprise: Lancer Capital, the owners of Manchester United Football Club, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, the owners of Mumbai Indians and GMR Group, co-owners of Delhi Capitals.
Capri Global might not be a familiar name in cricket, but the company has been trying hard in recent years to get a toe-hold in the lucrative franchise cricket league, and even raised the fourth-highest bid last year for the two new IPL teams.
"Our foray into sports franchising allows Capri Global to leverage on the passion that Indian audience has for cricket," Rajesh Sharma, managing director of Capri Global, said in a media release on Wednesday.
The owners of Kolkata Knight Riders as well as the Sydney Sixers, one of the teams in the BBL, are understood to be the two other parties to have expressed interest in owning the two other franchises in the UAE T20 League. The six-team league, comprising 34 matches, was originally meant to be played in the February-March bracket, but the ECB remains confident it will host the inaugural edition of the league in 2022.
ESPNcricinfo understands that one probable window would be in June, immediately after the IPL which is scheduled to end on May 29.