After IPL, CPL, Knight Riders Set To Own Team In USA's Major League Cricket
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After IPL, CPL, Knight Riders Set To Own Team In USA’s Major League Cricket

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Credits: IPL)

The Knight Riders franchise will be one of the key investors in USA’s Major League Cricket (MLC), a franchise-based T20 tournament that’s expected to begin in 2022. The Knight Riders will not only own a team in the upcoming competition but will also be a ‘consultant’ to American Cricket Enterprise (ACE), USA Cricket’s partner in running the league.

It will be the third league that Knight Riders will be a part of. They had started their journey with the Indian Premier League when they bought Kolkata Knight Riders. It was followed by the takeover of Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League. The Knight Riders group is owned by Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla along with her husband Jay Mehta.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Credits: Twitter)
“In the IPL or the CPL, you own a franchise, and that’s all you own and operate, whereas in the case of the MLC, you have a stake in the league,” Venky Mysore, Knight Riders’ CEO, told ESPNCricinfo.

“USA Cricket are looking at a bigger national cricket set-up, academies, develop talent, and all that is complementary to what the T20 league will do as well. In addition, we will be working hard to build infrastructure there, six world-class stadiums in the next few years.

“Eventually their ambition is to host international competitions, including, potentially, the World Cup. So this could be on the agenda. USA has a strong sports culture. It’s also the No. 1 media market. Cricket is the second-most-watched sport in the world, so you combine it all, it’s got all the ingredients of a very successful product,” he added.

Venky Mysore
KKR CEO Venky Mysore (C) (Credits – AFP)

‘Only global brand in T20 cricket’:

Mysore further said that the Knight Riders group take pride in being called the only global brand in T20 cricket. He emphasised the importance of investigating in other leagues in order to keep the ‘brand alive’ throughout the year. Mysore also stated that the franchise would not hesitate in acquiring more teams in order to build a business at the global level.

“Lots of people say we are the only global brand in T20 cricket, and we take a lot of pride in that,” Mysore said. “That was always our vision. The IPL is for two months, and maybe a month leading up to that, but what do you do to keep your brand alive the rest of the year.

“The vision is to build the business at a global level, and own two, three, four, five franchises around the world, and build them on the mother brand of Knight Riders, and use a common template and model about how you operationalise the business, how you do your branding, your sponsorship deals, your merchandising deals, etc,” he added.

According to Cricbuzz, Knight Riders will be acquiring the Los Angeles franchise.

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