Manchester United co-chairman Avram Glazer met Dubai Sports Council chairman Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid to discuss preparations for the UAE's new T20 cricket competition as well as ways to further raise Dubai’s profile as a global sporting hub.
The meeting was attended by Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of the Department of Economy and Tourism, and Khalid Al Zarooni, president of Dubai Sports City, state news agency Wam reported.
Sheikh Mansoor published a picture of the meeting on Twitter in where launch of the UAE T20 Cricket League, slated for January 2023, was on the agenda.
In December 2021 the Emirates Cricket Board confirmed one of the teams had been purchased by Lancer Capital, whose chairman is Glazer, the co-chairman of Premier League giants Manchester United and owner of NFL franchise Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I am very excited to be a part of UAE T20 at its formation,” Glazer was quoted as saying at he time. “UAE T20 promises to be a world class event that will be transformative to the growth of cricket in the Emirates.”
Reliance Industries, the owners of the IPL’s most successful side, Mumbai Indians, has acquired the rights to another of the UAE league’s teams.
Dubai has become a major hub for hosting high-profile cricket matches including last year's T20 World Cup final, won by Australia.
The emirate has hosted more than its share of franchise cricket, too, including Indian Premier League and Pakistan Super League matches.
The UAE T20 Cricket League, however, will be the first tournament owned by the ECB. It will feature six teams including the newly announced Manchester United cricket team. Five teams from India will also participate in the competition.
The matches of the first edition of the UAE T20 Cricket League will be held in Dubai Sports City, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
Originally slated for February and March, the UAE T20 league has now been pushed back to January 2023, according to Wam.
There are also plans for a new 90-ball format in Sharjah next May and June, to be known as the Ninety-90 Bash.