The American Cricket Enterprise (ACE) have announced that the Knight Riders franchise has entered its upcoming T20 league 'Major League Cricket' as one of its key investors. The Knight Riders will have a franchise in the tournament, which will be its third -- after Kolkata in the Indian Premier League and Trinbago in the Caribbean Premier League.
Vijay Srinivasan, who is one of the co-founders of the ACE, described the arrival of the Knight Riders as the "validation of our plan" to make cricket mainstream in the United States.
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"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," Srinivasan said, as quoted by Cricbuzz.
It is worth noting that the Knight Riders will be investing in the league, and not be merely participating in the tournament as a franchise (which is the case in IPL and CPL).
"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."
The report also mentions that the Knight Riders are contemplating to acquire the Los Angeles franchise in the Major Cricket League. The famous NBA side from LA, the Los Angeles Lakers also wear the purple and gold - the same colour as the Knight Riders.
It also adds the celebrity quotient around the Hollywood, with the arrival of one of the biggest Bollywood stars in Shah Rukh Khan.
The CEO of the Knight Riders, Venky Mysore said that there is a "large market"for cricket in the United States.
"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," said Mysore.
"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. 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."