The owners of Manchester United have purchased one of the six franchises in the new UAE T20 league, according to the league’s organisers.
The Emirates Cricket Board’s Premier League T20, held in Dubai for the first time in February and March 2022, is poised to begin.
When the IPL expands to ten teams next season, the Glazer family has expressed interest in investing in one of the two additional franchises.
United’s owners were among 18 interested parties, but Indian industrial giant RPSG, run by industrialist Sanjiv Goenka, and private equity company CVC Capital, who also control stakes in rugby’s Six Nations, Premiership rugby, and Spanish football’s La Liga, won out.
However, through their business Lancer Capital, the owners of Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team will now take their first steps in cricket in the UAE.
Lancer Capital has a diverse portfolio of best-in-class assets. Avie Glazer, the chairman of Lancer Capital, is a Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner. Since 2005, Glazer has also served as co-chairman of Manchester United. United has won more titles in English football than any other team.
Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE T20 League Chairman and Vice-Chairman Emirates Cricket Board, hailed Glazer’s investment in the UAE T20 League.
“I am very excited to welcome Mr.Glazer to the UAE T20 Family! To have a partner who has invested in sports properties with a long-term investment perspective is a testament to the strength of the UAE T20 League’s Business Model and its value proposition to its stakeholders and an ode to the UAE as the destination of choice for global sports events,” Al Zarooni said.
Meanwhile, Avram Glazer, Chairman of Lancer Capital LLC, said: “I am very excited to be a part of UAE T20 at its formation. UAE T20 promises to be a world-class event that will be transformative to the growth of cricket in the Emirates.”
The UAE T20 League is a professional franchise-based T20 cricket tournament with six franchise teams competing in a 34-match event.
Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary Emirates Cricket Board, said, “We are extremely pleased that a legendary sports owner like Avie Glazer has chosen to partner with the UAE T20 League.”
“This is a resounding thumbs up to the unique opportunity that the UAE T20 league offers to experience and established sports business owners. Our partnership with Lancer Capital will enable us to combine fans of the two widely followed sports – football and cricket.”
The Emirates Cricket Board had previously announced that Reliance Industries Limited would be purchasing the rights to own and run a new franchise cricket team in the UAE T20 League through its subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd (RSBVL).
The Mumbai Indians, owned by RIL, are one of the eight founding members of the IPL and have grown to become one of the most successful cricket clubs in the world, both on and off the field.
The six-team league, sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board, will occur in February and March. There will be 34 matches in the franchise-based tournament, which will be staged in the same format as the Indian Premier League.