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GMR Group acquires franchise in UAE T20 League

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Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Wednesday (February 23) that the Delhi-based GMR Group has acquired a franchise in the soon-to-be-launched UAE T20 League. "Indian-based infrastructure powerhouse, GMR Group has acquired the rights to own and operate Dubai franchise in the UAE T20 League to be held in UAE," the ECB said. GMR Group co-owns Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

GM Rao, Group Chairman at GMR Group, said: "Our team has 14-seasons' experience in managing the franchise process, through our Delhi Capital team's involvement in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and we will integrate the same elements of these processes into UAE T20 League and help establish it as a premier and an integral part of the global cricket ecosystem." Added Kiran Kumar Granthi, Corporate Chairman at GMR Group: "Based on our years of IPL experience we will harness to create a thriving cricket environment to budding players which will infinitely excite cricket aficionados."

The ECB has also asserted that the league is well on track to be played this year despite a struggle to find a suitable window for what it calls the flagship professional T20 League. Among other owners of the league are Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Shah Rukh Khan, Glazer Family and Rajesh Sharma, a Dubal-based industrialist. Efforts are being made it conduct the tournament in June-July.

Khalid Al Zarooni, Vice-Chairman at ECB, said: "UAE T20 League considers itself very fortunate to have engaged in a series of very meaningful discussions with various potential stakeholders interested in investing in our League. These discussions have proven very rewarding culminating in us being extremely honoured to welcome GMR Group as our partner. The standing of this League, across the cricketing world, is vitally important to us, and we have aligned ourselves with partners that share the same values toward the game; holding its spirit, integrity and longevity to the highest regard."

Mubashshir Usmani, general secretary of the board, said: "At its heart, the UAE T20 League will provide this opportunity for players within the Associate structure to play alongside world class Internationals and be provided with a much-needed opportunity to showcase their skills to a wider audience. We are confident this League will quickly establish itself as one of our pioneering events and will shape cricket to new heights."

ECB is expected to make announcements of other owners, including that of Gautam Adani, whose acquisition of a team was recently reported by this website, in the coming days.

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