Sunday, June 4, 2023

Major League Cricket: The Knight Riders Group becomes the stakeholders in U.S. domestic cricket

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It seems like history is in the making at Major League cricket in U.S.

American Cricket Enterprises had announced that the Knight Riders Group, owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders, had agreed to a significant long-term investment in the future of American cricket as they are now stakeholders in Major League Cricket. Over the last decade, the Knight Riders Group has become a household name in T20 cricket due to their sustained success on the pitch.

credits Kolkata Knight Riders Twitter

The Kolkata Knight Riders are two-time Indian Premier League champions and one of the most popular sports franchises in the world of domestic cricket. Following their 2014 IPL Championship, the Knight Riders became owners of the Trinidad & Tobago T20 franchise in the Caribbean Premier League in the year 2015.

Since then, the Trinbago Knight Riders have gone on to win the CPL Championship four times in the last six seasons, including a record-setting unbeaten championship season in 2020. This investment by the Knight Riders Group, which is led by Bollywood superstar, Shah Rukh Khan, along with Juhi Chawla & her husband Jay Mehta, is part of a strategic long-term investment in the future of cricket in the United States.

Major League cricket hub will be set up in Texas
Grand Prairie , Texas is set to be new cricket hub for cricket in the US (credits USA Cricket)

In addition to their expertise in franchise cricket, their vast experience in content creation & production had brought the worlds of cricket and entertainment further together. 

The Bollywood star commented on the long-term agreement saying, “For several years now, we have been expanding the Knight Riders brand globally and closely watching the potential for T20 cricket in the USA. We are convinced that Major League Cricket has all the pieces in place to execute on its plans and we look forward to making our partnership an enormous success in the coming years.”

Mr. Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR and Red Chillies Entertainment has said, “We feel fortunate to have been consistently recognized as one of the best franchises in T20 cricket and have become one of the fastest growing sports brands in the world. As T20 cricket expands internationally, we are flattered by the regular inbound requests to play a major role in growing the sport abroad. We have had a keen interest in the developments in the United States and our expansion into the U.S. is consistent with our long-term strategy. We look forward to the new challenge of building cricket in the world’s most sophisticated sports and media market and we believe that we can bring a huge amount of expertise to help make Major League Cricket realize the potential that it undoubtedly has”

On the behalf of American Cricket Enterprises and Major League Cricket, Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan said, “We are delighted to partner with the Knight Riders Group in this historic partnership. By adding the Knight Riders Group to our family of world-class and diverse investors, this investment into the future of Major League Cricket is a huge validation of our vision for the new league, and we are particularly excited to have such an iconic cricketing brand onboard with us.

As USA Cricket’s official partner in developing a professional T20 league in America, we have a shared vision to bring world-class professional cricket to the world’s largest sports market. The announcement today is a significant step forward in showing the potential of the American market, and we are delighted to have the backing and expertise of the Knight Riders Group to help us achieve this vision.” Major League Cricket will deliver the highest quality professional T20 cricket for U.S. cricket fans and will gradually help in increasing the fan base of U.S. cricket.

The league will feature top international players from the U.S. and around the world, underpinned by a focus on pathways to develop a homegrown player pool for USA Cricket and the league. Through this initiative, we may see U.S. national team competing in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2027 as it will be enforcing the passion of cricket among the youngsters and people of U.S. to grow.

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