India's Reliance unit to acquire franchise cricket team in UAE T20 League

Emirates Cricket Board plans to hold league tournament yearly

A leather cricket ball on bat. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A leather cricket ball on bat. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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India's oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. is set to acquire the rights to own and operate a new franchise cricket team in the Emirates Cricket Board’s (ECB) upcoming UAE T20 League.

No financial terms of the deal--which will be made through its subsidiary, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd (RSBVL)--were disclosed in a statement issued by ECB on Wednesday. 

This is first major overseas expansion of Reliance Industries’ cricket operations in the global franchise-based cricket leagues. The company famously owns the successful franchise team, Mumbai Indians, that competes in the Indian Premier League.

Emirates Cricket Board plans to hold the UAE T20 League annually, initially featuring six franchise teams in a 34-match event.

Khalid Al Zarooni, the chairman of the UAE T20 League and vice chairman ECB, said he aimed to transform cricket in UAE through UAE T20 League.

Akash Ambani, owner of Mumbai Indians believes that the UAE T20 League presents a unique opportunity to build on existing global partnerships and benefit the growth of cricket in UAE.

(Reportig by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz) 

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