The Knight Riders Group has acquired the rights to own and manage an Abu Dhabi franchise for the UAE T20 League. The franchise will be known as the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (ADKR).
The announcement means the Knight Riders Group now has three different teams in as many franchise T20 leagues around the world. The group started this venture off with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and followed it up with the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League in 2015. Most recently, the Knight Riders Group had also announced that it will be working towards developing a stadium and owning a franchise in Major League Cricket in the USA.
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Talking about the deal, Shah Rukh Khan, Owner, Knight Riders Group, commented:
“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.“
Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE 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.“
Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary Emirates Cricket Board, stated:
“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 the 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 upcoming players.“
Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR and Red Chillies Entertainment, added:
“We feel fortunate to have been consistently recognized 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.“