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US firm leads CPL franchise acquisition as Mallya exits

US-based CMG Companies has returned to franchise ownership in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 cricket competition by leading a group that has taken over the Barbados Tridents.

The change of ownership sees Indian businessman Vijay Mallya shed another of his sports properties as he continues to battle extradition from the UK to India to face allegations of bank fraud. Mallya has already been forced to sever his connections to Indian Premier League (IPL) team Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Formula One motor-racing team formerly known as Force India, which now competes under the Racing Point banner.

CMG, which through its affiliates primarily owns and operates franchise restaurants, hotels, and real estate across the US, has led a team of local and international investors in the Tridents. These investors include co-owners and local entrepreneurs Kailash Pardasani of Promotech, and Terrol Cummins and Arvind Gopwani of Silver Technetium Capital.

Manish Patel, principal of CMG, said: “Selling our ownership rights of the winning Jamaica Tallawahs held from 2014-2016 was the right move for us as a business, but we missed being involved in the region and in CPL.

“When the chance to purchase the Tridents came along we were delighted, especially with the opportunity to bring good strong local partners onboard.  We can’t wait to get started at enhancing the profile of this team on and off the field and to bringing a comprehensive sports entertainment package to Barbados.”

The Tridents’ change in ownership comes with the team’s players having reportedly not received their full pay for the 2018 CPL. Pete Russell, chief operating officer of the CPL, said: “The issues that the Tridents have faced in recent months have been well documented and are being fully addressed as a priority.

“We have been working tirelessly to find a solution and we believe that this international-local investor collaboration is the ideal solution. This is a group of passionate cricket fans and astute business minds who have experience of successfully running a CPL franchise. The Tridents are in safe hands and the issues the franchise has faced are a thing of the past.”