MI, CSK and DC to own and operate MLC teams

The inaugural season of the MLC is all set to kick start on July 13, 2023.

The owners of three pre-eminent teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Mumbai Indians (MI), Delhi Capitals (DC), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will own and operate teams in the US-based T20 league, Major League Cricket (MLC).

The Delhi-based franchise has acquired rights to the Seattle franchise, whereas CSK and MI have reportedly roped in Texas and New York franchises, respectively. Before this development, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) already purchased rights for the Los Angeles franchise.

GMR, which co-owns DC, will run the Seattle franchise in collaboration with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella and the team will be called Seattle Orcas. The other investors involved from the Seattle Orcas are Soma Somasegar (MD of Madrona Ventures), Samir Bodas (Co-founder and CEO, Icertis), Ashok Krishnamurthi (Managing Partner, GreatPoint Ventures), and Sanjay Parthasarathy (Former Senior Executive at Microsoft and Avalara). 

On this new venture, Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Managing Director, CEO of GMR Group, and Co-owner of Delhi Capitals, said, “We see America as the new frontier for cricket’s growth globally, and the Pacific Northwest provides an incredible opportunity for us to bring the resources of GMR Sports to the region and help the Seattle Orcas build a team competing for championships.”

The four-time IPL champions have also stitched a partnership with a local investor for their Texas franchise.

The other two franchises in the tournament are from Washington DC And San Francisco. The Washington-based franchise will be known as Washington Freedom – owned by the local American investor Sanjay Govil along with New South Wales Cricket. The San Francisco franchise is owned by Anand Rajaraman, Venky Harinarayan, and Cricket Victoria.

Multiple IPL franchises have displayed their interest in the past in acquiring franchises in the T20 leagues all around the world. The Delhi-based franchise owns Pretoria Capitals in SA20 and Dubai Capitals in ILT20 respectively, MI own MI Cape Town in SA20 and MI Emirates in ILT20 respectively, and CSK owns Joburg Super Kings. The Kolkata-based IPL team has franchises in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as Trinbago Knight Riders and Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the UAE-based T20 league.

The inaugural season of the MLC is all set to kick start on July 13, 2023. 

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