The Knight Riders franchise is all set to become major investors in USA’s Major League Cricket (MLC). Much like IPL and other cricket T20 leagues around the world this too will be a franchise-based competition. MLC is expected to kick off from 2022 and Knight Riders have shown their interest in obtaining another T20 team. Also, it is believed that the franchise will also be a ‘consultant’ to American Cricket Enterprise (ACE), USA Cricket’s ally in managing the league.
This will be their third T20 team after Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders. The knight Riders group is controlled by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and actress Juhi Chawla along with her husband Jay Mehta.
Knight Riders enhance their global T20 brand with USA’s Major League Cricket
“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.
Venky Mysore further explained that the MLC T20 league will be aiming to build academics, develop young talent and world-class infrastructure in the coming years. The USA has a strong sporting culture and the idea of playing a cricket league in the country has the potential to be successful.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Knight Riders group also has a vision of enhancing their global T20 brand all around the world. The franchise is looking to stay productive throughout the year to keep their brand growing. As per Cricbuzz, Knight Riders may own the Los Angeles franchise in USA’s Major League Cricket.
“Lots of people say we are the only global brand in T20 cricket, and we take a lot of pride in that. 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 operationalise the business, how you do your branding, your sponsorship deals, your merchandising deals, etc,” Venky Mysore concluded.