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MI, KKR and Manchester United tipped to become franchise owners of UAE based T20 tournament

Manchester United’s Glazer family are also likely to buy one team

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Photo Credit BCCI/Twitter)

Owners of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) are likely to be announced as franchise owners in a new T20 league set to be staged in UAE. The third likely owners are the Manchester United’s the Glazer family. The six-team T20 tournament has been sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and will be played each year during January-February.

The first edition though will be played February-March 2022. The new T20 league was announced in August but the details of owners, stakeholders and the number of franchises was still at a nascent stage. Now, according to officials, the discussions are in the advanced stage with six owners in the fray. Amongst those, Reliance Industries, which own Mumbai Indians, are almost finalized. “We just need a formal handshake [with Mumbai Indians’ owners] to make it final now,” the official told ESPNcricinfo.

Other franchises set to be onboard are Capri Global, owner of Sydney Sixers from Big Bash League and Kiran Kumar, co-owner of Delhi Capitals. The official also said that the financial terms are finalized.

“With all six, contracts have been exchanged, and advanced discussions in place,” the official said. “Financial terms have been finalized. The details are being gone through in most instances, with lawyers, advisors, and so on.”

The new UAE based T20 tournament will see Manchester United entering cricket for the first time. The Glazer family had shown interest in acquiring one of the two new IPL teams in October but that didn’t pan out well. The event will see teams play 34 games, of which four will be knockout games, including qualifiers, an eliminator and a final. There is no official announcement made about the auction of players.

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