The Knight Riders group, co-owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, have decided to invest in the USA's multi-million dollar T20 tournament which is currently in the works, named Major League Cricket. "American Cricket Enterprises is delighted to announce that the Knight Riders Group, owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), has agreed to a significant long-term investment in the future of American cricket as they become stakeholders in Major League Cricket," a press release sent on Tuesday said.
The Knight Riders group currently own two T20 franchises - the two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders and four-time Caribbean Premier League champions Trinbago Knight Riders.
"For several years now, we have been expanding the Knight Riders brand globally and closely watching the potential for T20 cricket in the USA. We are convinced that Major League Cricket has all the pieces in place to execute on its plans and we look forward to making our partnership an enormous success in the coming years," KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan was quoted as saying in the press release.
"We feel fortunate to have been consistently recognized as one of the best franchises in T20 cricket and have become one of the fastest-growing sports brands in the world. As T20 cricket expands internationally, we are flattered by the regular inbound requests to play a major role in growing the sport abroad," Mr. Venky Mysore, the CEO of KKR and Red Chillies Entertainment said.
"We have had a keen interest in the developments in the United States and our expansion into the U.S. is consistent with our long-term strategy. We look forward to the new challenge of building cricket in the world's most sophisticated sports and media market and we believe that we can bring a huge amount of expertise to help make Major League Cricket realize the potential that it undoubtedly has," he added.
"We are delighted to partner with the Knight Riders Group in this historic partnership. By adding the Knight Riders Group to our family of world-class and diverse investors, this investment into the future of Major League Cricket is a huge validation of our vision for the new league, and we are particularly excited to have such an iconic cricketing brand onboard with us," Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan of American Cricket Enterprises and Major League Cricket said.
"As USA Cricket's official partner in developing a professional T20 league in America, we have a shared vision to bring world-class professional cricket to the world's largest sports market. The announcement today is a significant step forward in showing the potential of the American market, and we are delighted to have the backing and expertise of the Knight Riders Group to help us achieve this vision," he further added.