Manchester United owner Avram Glazer has succeeded in buying a cricket franchise at the second attempt after snapping up a team in the new United Arab Emirates Twenty20 league.
Glazer, through his private equity company Lancer Capital, was outbid in an auction for two new franchises in the Indian Premier League, the world’s leading T20 competition, in October.
But the American, whose family also owns United and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is now set to be part of the UAE’s new six-team competition due to take place in February and March next year.
“I am very excited to be a part of UAE T20 at its formation,” Glazer said. “UAE T20 promises to be a world-class event that will be transformative to the growth of cricket in the Emirates.”
Glazer’s investment in cricket comes as the United States makes a significant push to gain a foothold in the sport.
It is launching a T20 competition of its own, Major League Cricket, in 2023, will host its first international matches against a full member nation when Ireland tour this month and is to co-host the men’s T20 World Cup with the West Indies in 2024.
The Glazers have been forced into action at United in recent weeks, replacing manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Ralf Rangnick.
Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE T20 League chairman and vice-chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, said: “I am very excited to welcome Mr Glazer to the UAE T20 family.
“To have a partner who has invested into sports properties with a long-term perspective is a testament to the strength of the UAE T20 League’s business model and its value proposition to fans and its stakeholders, and an ode to the UAE as the destination of choice for global sports events.”