Reliance Industries has taken another giant step forward in the world of cricket, carrying on the legacy of the Mumbai Indians brand. It has acquired a franchise in Cricket South Africa’s upcoming T20 league based in Cape Town, and it is also getting closer to acquiring the International League T-20 team based in the UAE.
With the ownership of cricket franchises, the football league in India, sports sponsorship, consultancy, and athlete talent management, Reliance Industries has played a pivotal role in evolving the country’s sports ecosystem for over a decade. Reliance Foundation Sports, RIL’s CSR wing, has been at the forefront of India’s Olympic Movement, providing opportunities for athletes across the country to become champions in a variety of sports and also leading India’s charge in hosting global sporting events. Mrs Neeta Ambani led a successful bid earlier this year to host the prestigious International Olympic Committee Session in Mumbai in 2023, after a gap of 40 years.
Mrs Ambani, director of Reliance Industries said, “I’m delighted to welcome our new T20 team to the Reliance family! We are excited to bring the Mumbai Indians’ brand of fearless and entertaining cricket to South Africa, a country that loves cricket as much as we do in India! South Africa has a strong sporting ecosystem, and we are excited to explore the power and potential of this collaboration. As MI expands its global cricketing footprint, we remain committed to spreading joy and cheer through sport!”
The chairman of Reliance Jio, Mr Akash Ambani, stated, “With the addition of our South African franchise, we now have three T20 teams spread across three nations. We look forward to using our knowledge of the Mumbai Indians brand and the cricket ecosystem to help develop the team and give fans some of the best cricketing experiences.”
A six-team franchise-based T20 competition has been announced by Cricket South Africa, with the inaugural tournament scheduled o to be played in January 2023. Six teams will compete in the tournament, and during the round-robin stage, they will play each other twice. The top three teams then move to the playoffs, where 33 matches will be played over the course of three to four weeks.