|Event:||Indian Premier League 2009/10|
DateLine: 10th February 2010
IPL champions of 2008 Rajasthan Royals have announced the formation of a global Twenty20 cricket franchise - Royals 2020 - involving major cricket clubs from around the world.
"Royals2020 will be a dynamic partnership of leading cricket clubs around the world, with the aim of creating the 'World's First Global Sporting Franchise," a media release issued said.
"The founding teams will represent the major cricket playing countries of the world. India is represented by the Rajasthan Royals - winners of the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008, from England, the Hampshire Hawks become the Hampshire Royals."
"In the West Indies and in South Africa, negotiations are being finalised for Trinidad and Tobago, and Cape Cobras to become Royals. In Australia, discussions are in the final stages of formalising the involvement of their leading domestic team to complete the founder members."
"The Royals 2020 mission is to grow the fan base; grow the commercial platform for all; provide high class entertainment for the young and families in great grounds; provide opportunities for players to develop their talents; and to entertain fans around the world through great events," the release added.
On the benefits of the franchise, the company said that member clubs can expect commercial window on new markets, a commercial fee for the naming rights, and participation in the annual 'Royals Festivals'.
"There is also potential for knowledge sharing, talent sharing and participation in a central revenue pool."
"For players, there will be opportunities to increase exposure and awareness within the IPL, and the Indian market more broadly. For younger players, there will clearly be opportunities to play in overseas markets and further develop their games."
"For our sponsors and partners we create a truly global, but local marketing platform and membership of the world's first global sporting franchise," the release added.
Shane Warne, Captain and Head Coach of Rajasthan Royals said, "I am delighted to be part of this new innovation, and I am excited by what we can achieve, given what we have already achieved. Yet again, the Royals are leading the way. It is bonus that clubs with which I have such deep affection are so involved."
Rod Bransgrove, Chairman of Hampshire, said "We consider the Rose Bowl to be the home of Twenty20 cricket in the UK, and this is a fabulous opportunity to extend the international reach of the game for us."
Mohamed Ebrahim, and Andre Odendaal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Cobras, the South Africa Pro20 champions said, "We have been talking about and developing this partnership since the IPL last year. We look forward to finalising formal agreements in the next weeks, as this new family will be opening up a whole new path in cricket."
"The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board is fully supportive of the Royals 2020 initiative as it offers many exciting opportunities for the teams, players and fans," club director Allen Sammy said.
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