Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries on Wednesday announced that it will acquire a franchise in Cricket South Africa’s upcoming T20 league. Based in Cape Town, the new franchise will take forward the legacy of ‘Mumbai Indians brand and comes close on the heels of acquiring the UAE-based International League T-20 team.
Reliance Industries has been instrumental in promoting the sporting ecosystem in India through ownership of cricket franchises, sports sponsorship, consultancy, athlete talent management, and bringing in industry best practices.
Mumbai Indians have been the most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), having won the championship five times, since its inception in 2008.
Nita Ambani, Director of Reliance Industries, said she’s excited to take the Mumbai Indians’ brand of fearless and entertaining cricket to South Africa.
“I’m delighted to welcome our new T20 team to the Reliance family! We are excited to take the Mumbai Indians’ brand of fearless and entertaining cricket to South Africa, a nation that loves cricket as much as we do in India! South Africa has a strong sporting ecosystem, and we look forward to exploring the power and potential of this collaboration,” she said.
Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio, also expressed his desire to leverage their expertise and depth of knowledge in the cricket ecosystem. “With our South African franchise, we now have three T20 teams across three countries. We look forward to leveraging our expertise and depth of knowledge in the cricket ecosystem & brand Mumbai Indians to help build the team and provide fans with some of the best cricketing experiences,” he stated.
The T20 league in South Africa is slated to take place in January and February next year.
Cricket South Africa also confirmed that the owners of six IPL teams were the successful bidders for franchises in the country’s newly-planned T20 tournament.
While Reliance will own a team based at Newlands in Cape Town, Chennai Super Kings won the rights to a team with headquarters at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The owners of Delhi Capitals will have a team in Centurion, Lucknow Super Giants in Durban, Sunrisers Hyderabad in Gqebera, and Rajasthan Royals in Paarl.