India-based infrastructure company, GMR Group, has acquired the rights to own and operate the Dubai franchise in the UAE T20 League to be held in UAE later this year.
The six-team league is on track "to be played in 2022" where "senior committee members are encouraged by the enormous interest shown from a number of high-profile individuals and well-established corporates from across the world", a statement from GMR said on Wednesday.
The remaining franchise partnerships of the UAE T20 League -- which is an Emirates Cricket Board-sanctioned professional T20 League -- will be announced over the coming weeks.
The statement said that the UAE T20 League will be held in the "most favourable time zone" catering to cricket fans around the world.
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GMR Group chairman, GM Rao, said, "UAE continues to impress with its progressive, positive mind-set toward sport and the business of sport, and we believe these traits align well with our group strategy to support sports from grassroots through to international level while being effective in engaging with the community. Our group is convinced that UAE T20 League proposed structure and plans will leverage these unique traits of UAE.
"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," said Rao.
Emirates Cricket Board vice-chairman, Khalid Al Zarooni, said, "UAE T20 League considers itself very fortunate to have engaged in a series of meaningful discussions with various potential stakeholders interested in investing in our League. These discussions have proven very rewarding culminating in us being honoured to welcome GMR Group as our partner.
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"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," he added.