Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who took Bollywood overseas and earned the appreciation of millions of fans outside of India, is now all set to venture into American cricket. The megastar has acquired the Los Angeles franchise in the soon-to-be-launched Major Cricket League, which will be played in the US and will have six teams based in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
According to a report in a leading daily, Shah Rukh’s firm is a part-owner of the American T20 league’s organizing company, the American Cricket Enterprise, which obtained the rights to conduct the tournament from USA Cricket, an affiliate of the International Cricket Council. Sources associated with the tournament said that Shah Rukh has managed to obtain the ‘Indian exclusivity’ in the league, which means no team from the Indian Premier League can be part of the American league for at least five years. “The tournament is scheduled to start in the summer of 2022, immediately after the IPL that year,” the source said.
Shah Rukh, in a statement to the daily yesterday, confirmed his interest in the American league. “For several years now, we have been expanding the Knight Riders brand globally, and closely watching the potential for T20 cricket in the USA. We are convinced that Major League Cricket has all the pieces in place to execute on its plans and we look forward to making our partnership an enormous success in the coming years,” the statement said. The league sources said that the actor’s company will also contribute towards building cricket stadiums in the American cities involved in the tournament.
Venky Mysore, the Kolkata Knight Riders and Red Chillies Entertainment CEO, said, that the Knight Riders have had a keen interest in the development of the game in the US. “Our expansion into the US market is consistent with our long-term strategy. We look forward to the new challenge of building cricket in the world’s most sophisticated sports and media market. We believe that we can bring a huge amount of expertise to help make the Major League Cricket realise the potential that it undoubtedly has,” Mysore said.
(Source: Mumbai Mirror)