Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and the co-owners of Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders have bought a franchise in Cricket South Africa's eight-team T20 Global League. The actor, who jointly owns the hugely successful Indian Premier League (IPL) team, has bought the franchise based in Cape Town which has left-handed batsman JP Duminy as the marquee player. The new franchise will be called Cape Town Knight Riders. The tournament will be played during November-December.
"On behalf of all of us from Knight Riders, congratulations to Cricket South Africa for the launch of exciting new T20 Global League. We are delighted and thankful that you have made Knight Riders part of the new Global League. South Africa is a beautiful country with beautiful people and I really look forward to be part of the exciting new journey and building something special together. We are particularly thrilled to make Cape Town and Newlands our new home away from home," said Shah Rukh Khan.
GMR, who owns Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, also invested in a team in the new league. The GMR team will be based in Johannesburg with paceman Kagiso Rabada as the marquee player.
"EY (previously known as Ernst & Young) ran the team owner selection process to ensure integrity, compliance and due diligence was followed throughout the process by both CSA and potential owners," a release said.
"Competition was stiff, with more than 150 Expressions of Interest (EOI) received from around the world and a shortlist of heavy hitters to consider, but after rigorous discussions and engagement with each of the potential owners, we are certain that our final eight owners have the perfect combination of strategic insight and passion needed to make the first T20 Global League a complete success," said CSA president Chris Nenzani.
"The announcement of the team owners is a key milestone to successfully launch our T20 Global League. We are thrilled by the international mix of owners and the passion and excitement that was clearly demonstrated during the bidding process by them and the marquee players. It sets up our #T20GL as a fans favourite in the cricketing calendar," CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said.
The player draft is scheduled for August 19 with almost 400 players from 10 countries confirming their interest.
(With PTI inputs)