Hong Kong’s City Sports has expanded its cricket property once again by buying the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots franchise, which is part of the Hero Caribbean League.
City Sports, which is part of the City Group of companies, owns the City Kaitak team in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz and chairman Sushil Kumar wants to help the West Indian franchise enhance the region’s economic well-being.
“We at City Sports are elated to be a part of the Hero CPL and having acquired the St Kitts & Nevis franchise we want to become part of the local community through the game of cricket,” said City Sports chairman Sushil Kumar.
“We want to promote the spirit of true sportsmanship and fair play, while at the same time creating a unique identity through our focus on performance and development.
“We are looking to bring a greater economic impact to St Kitts & Nevis in 2019 and beyond. We are also hoping our investment is a catalyst to further investment into the country and growth of its economy.”
Kumar and fellow City Group head Naren Kunder bought the franchise from businessmen Uday Nayak and Mohammed Ansari, who owned the team in partnership with the government of St Kitts & Nevis.
Kumar said the economic benefits of the entire tournament was valued in excess of US$127 million.
This is not the group’s first venture into T20 cricket beyond City Kaitak, who finished second in the 2017 tournament. They are the former owners of the Bloem City Blazers franchise for the ill-fated Global T20 League in South Africa.
The Patriots have been part of the CPL since 2015, finishing runners-up in 2017 and third in 2018. They are led by West Indies’ explosive batsman Chris Gayle – one of the world’s best cricketers in all formats.
Pete Russell, COO of Hero CPL, said: “We have been delighted with the way that the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots franchise has grown since they first joined the league in 2015 and we are certain that the City Group can take the team forward to even greater success.
“This investment shows the high regard in which the CPL is held around the world and how the tournament continues to go from strength to strength.”
The Caribbean league was started in 2013 and boasts six teams, with Trinbago Knight Riders as the defending champions. It is estimated that more than 200 million fans watched the 2018 season.