Reliance Industries, owners of five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited, owners of four-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings, on Wednesday expressed delight over buying Cape Town and Johannesburg teams in South Africa’s upcoming new T20 League.
On Wednesday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced that Mumbai and Chennai expanded their footprint in global T20 Leagues by buying the Cape Town franchise, based at Newlands and Johannesburg franchise, based at Wanderers, in its new T20 League scheduled to be held in January and February 2023.
The acquiring of Cape Town franchise by Reliance Industries comes close on the heels of the company acquiring a team in the UAE-based International League T20. “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. As we grow MI’s global cricketing footprint, we remain committed to spreading joy and cheer through sport!,” said Nita Ambani, director of Reliance Industries.
Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio, is eagerly looking to expand the brand of Mumbai Indians through its new acquisitions in SA and UAE T20 Leagues. “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 and brand Mumbai Indians to help build the team and provide fans with some of the best cricketing experiences.”
The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, famously known as the Bullring, will be the home ground of the franchise owned by Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited. Co-incidentally, Chennai Super Kings were one of the semifinalists in the 2009 IPL held in South Africa and emerged champions in the now-defunct 2010 Champions League Twenty20 defeating the Warriors at the Wanderers in the final.
“We have been evaluating new opportunities across the globe over the past few years. We felt this T20 league in South Africa will be highly competitive and it is a great opportunity for us to give back to the sport. It would also help us to spot new talent.”
“Chennai Super Kings received tremendous support and encouragement from fans during the IPL and Champions League T20 tournaments which were held in South Africa. We are confident that our superfans from all over the world will support us in this new journey and spread Yellove,” said Chennai Super Kings CEO K.S. Viswanathan
Joining Mumbai and Chennai in the SA T20 League fold are RPSG Sports Private Limited, owners of Lucknow Super Giants, who bought the Durban franchise based at Kingsmead, while Sun TV Network Limited, owners of Sunrisers Hyderabad, picked Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) franchise with home venue at St George’s Park.