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Adani Group, an Ahmedabad-based Indian infrastructure biggie, has bagged the rights to one of the six franchises in the newly-launched UAE T20 League.
Adani's foray into the league, through their subsidiary Adani Sportsline, makes them the fifth franchise owner in the tournament. The other four firms that have already brought franchise rights comprise: Capri Global, a non-banking financial company based in India, 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.
"We are excited to be part of the UAE T20 league," Pranav Adani, the managing director of Adani Enterprises Limited, said. "The UAE is an amazing amalgamation of several cricket loving nations. It provides an excellent platform for enhancing the visibility of cricket as the sport goes increasingly global."
The Adani Group had last year put their hat in the ring to buy the Ahmedabad and Lucknow franchises in the IPL, bidding INR 5100 crores, though they were eventually outbid by corporate giants RP Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) and CVC Capital Partners (Irelia Company Pte Ltd).
"We are extremely pleased to have one of Asia's leading corporates as our franchise team owner," Mubashshir Usmani, the general secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), said. "This is a resounding thumbs up to the unique opportunity that the UAE T20 league offers to experienced and established business owners. We are confident that this association will be mutually beneficial for both the Adani Group 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 upcoming players."
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.