Meet The Owners Of UAE T20 League Teams, Where Players Can Earn $450,000 Tax-Free
The ILT20 has a salary cap of $2.5 million per team, and the top players can potentially earn $450,000 for playing just 12 matches.
Backed by Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), the International League T20 (ILT20), flushed with cash from some of the most influential business personalities, has already sent shockwaves across the cricketing world.
The first edition of this league, set to be played next year in January, is going to clash with Big Bash League and Bangladesh Premier League. The BBL is already feeling the heat, as they watch their homegrown star players turn their back and sign up for ILT20, where they will be paid almost double the amount they got in Australia. Moreover, every penny earned by them will be exempt from any form of tax.
Chris Lynn, one of the biggest superstars of the league, is likely to join the UAE-based league next year. Even David Warner is rumoured to skip BBL. The ILT20 has a salary cap of $2.5 million per team, and the top players can potentially earn $450,000 for playing just 12 matches. In contrast, the highest-paid player in the BBL can fetch no more than $238,000 per season. Only the Indian Premier League can match the ILT20 in terms of the amount being offered to top players.
Let’s take a look at the owners of all six teams for the first edition of the ILT20:
Led by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, the Knight Riders Group acquired the rights to operate the franchise in the ILT20 earlier this year. They already have a team in IPL and CPL, made a substantial investment in the USA’s Major League Cricket, and their latest acquisition in the ILT20 signals the group’s aim to expand its reach to every nook of the world. They will be based out of Abu Dhabi.
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries made its first foreign investment in their cricketing business by acquiring a franchise in the UAE-based league. The name of the team is yet to be announced. As compared to other franchises, they have been a late starter in the expansion business, but are now gaining momentum. Last month, they confirmed the acquisition of a Cape Town-based franchise in the revamped South African T20 League.
Gautam Adani, who has a net worth of $107.6 billion, was one of the first buyers of the franchise in the ILT20 League, acquiring the rights for Gulf Giants. Interestingly, Adani also tried to buy an IPL franchise this year, but lost the bidding war to both CVC Capital and RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.
Read More: Here Is Everything We Know About Gautam Adani, The Businessman Who Surpassed Mukesh Ambani To Becomes Asia’s Richest Person
Manchester United co-chairman Avram Glazer has been trying to foray into the cricket business for a long time. Months after missing out on buying a cricket team in the IPL, Glazer Group confirmed the acquisition of the franchise in the UAE T20 League through its private equity firm Lancer Capitals.
Capri Global, headed by Rajesh Sharma, forayed into the sports business with the acquisition of a franchise in the league. Like the Glazers and Adanis, they were also trying hard to gain entry into the lucrative business of franchise cricket. Last year, they were among the top five bidders for an IPL team.
After Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals became the third IPL franchise to buy a team in the UAE League. Grandhi is the director of GMR Group, which runs the DC in partnership with JSW Group. Grandhi is famous for his notorious auction tactics, where he often bids on players his team doesn’t even need just to raise the price.
Featured Image Credit: Shahrukh Khan/Instagram