The Knight Riders group have invested in the USA-based Major League Cricket (MLC) and will hold a ‘significant stake’ in the tournament, the ACE confirmed on Monday. Unlike the IPL and the CPL, the Knight Rider’s group will own a stake at the league level and not the franchise level.
After successful investments in both India and the Caribbean, the Knight Riders group have decided to tap into the blooming cricket market in the United States and have officially invested in the Major League Cricket (MLC) that will kick-start in 2022. The group now holds a significant stake in the competition at the tournament level, unlike in both the IPL and CPL, where their investments only extends to the franchise level.
The investment in the MLC, which has come as welcome news for both the T20 league and cricket in the US, is believed to be ‘strategic’, with the group expected to serve as consultants in running that six-team league that will kick off in 2022.
The news of the Knight Riders’ investments was confirmed by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) Co-founder Vijay Srinivasan, who expressed delight in the Shah Rukh Khan-owned group’s involvement in cricket in America.
"We are hugely excited by the Knight Riders buying into the vision of Major League Cricket and look forward to working with them to bring the potential of American cricket to fruition. It is great to have them in early in the process and have their expertise involved all the way through the league's launch. Moreover, their investment is a statement of validation of our plans. This is a strategic long-term investment into the future of cricket in the United States," Cricbuzz quoted Srinivasan as saying.
Venky Mysore, the CEO of the Knight Riders franchise, meanwhile claimed that there is a large cricket market in the US which is there to be utilized and added that the Knight Riders group have an opportunity to create and build something ‘truly special’.
"The US being the largest media market in the world and the proliferation of the commonwealth diaspora provides a unique opportunity. We believe there is a large enough market for cricket. There are brands in the US who would look at cricket as a platform to advertise and build activation plans and marketing plans around our product,” Mysore told Cricbuzz.
“There is also a considerable appetite for merchandising and licensing that goes with it. If we can systematically and smartly go about building an elite product and then packaging and marketing it optimally ,we may well be on our way to build something truly special.”
Meanwhile, a Cricbuzz report has also claimed that the Knight Riders group are keen to acquire the Los Angeles-based franchise in the league.