Knight Riders franchise who have two franchises in two leagues globally will be one of the key investors in USA’s Major League Cricket (MLC), which is a franchise-based T20 tournament that’s expected to begin in 2022 in all probability.
They will not be only owners of a team in the upcoming competition but will also be a ‘consultant’ to American Cricket Enterprise (ACE), which is USA Cricket’s partner in running the league.
Knight Riders Franchise Will Own A Stake In League At the USA Who Are Looking To Build World Class Infrastructure
It will be the third league that the franchise will be a part of. They had started with the acquisition in Indian Premier League when they bought Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008. It was followed by the takeover of Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League. They also acquired Cape Town Knight Riders in South Africa’s T20 Global League, which was ultimately cancelled later. The Knight Riders group is owned by Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla along with her husband Jay Mehta and has CEO, Venky Mysore.
The Knight Riders also own another outfit Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), a franchise it bought in 2015. Between 2008 and now, KKR have won the IPL twice (2012 & 2014) and the CPL four times since 2013 (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020)
“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.
Major League Cricket (MLC) is an upcoming professional Twenty20 cricket league to be held in the United States. Operated by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) and sanctioned by USA Cricket, it plans initially to begin to play in 2022. In 2021, it will begin a development league, Minor League Cricket, which will be played between 24 franchise-based teams.
Knight Riders Vision Is To Be Only Global Brand In T20 Cricket
Venky Mysore further said that the Knight Riders group take pride in themselves being called the only global brand in T20 cricket. He emphasized the importance of investing in other leagues in order to keep the ‘brand alive’ throughout the year. Venky Mysore also stated that the global franchise would not hesitate in acquiring more teams in more leagues 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 operationalize the business, how you do your branding, your sponsorship deals, your merchandising deals, etc,” he added.
According to Cricbuzz report, Knight Riders can acquire the Los Angeles franchise.