The Morani family has given some of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters in history. And now they have made their foray into the world of cricket with the dream of making T10 cricket – the shortest format of the game – an enduring success.
Mohomed Morani, managing director of Cineyug, the premier Indian entertainment company that produces Bollywood films, and his wife, Lucky Morani, were unveiled as co-owners of Northern Warriors – the new T10 Cricket League team – in Dubai on Wednesday.
Morani revealed what drew him to the world’s newest cricket league – one that got off to a flying start in Sharjah last December.
“I have been involved with this T10 Cricket League since its inception because even before Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of the league, actually launched the tournament he asked me if I liked the idea. My answer to him was that cricket is a religion and cricket cannot fail,” Morani told Khaleej Times during a freewheeling chat.
“You know the game has evolved. You had Test matches, then they introduced 50 overs game and finally we had the T20s. And now because of social media and so much happening on television, the concentration level of people has become shorter. So this 90-minute game of cricket is on par with exciting short games like football and basketball,” he added.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express is among the biggest Bollywood hits that the Morani family has produced. And Mohomed didn’t rule out the possibility of having India’s biggest superstar cheering for his team when the second edition of the league begins in November.
“Inshallah! The excitement level will go higher if superstars like him attend the games. You never know,” he said.
“Obviously you saw lot of celebrities in the games last year. And it’s going to be even bigger this year.”
Morani says all the members of Team Northern Warriors, including co-owner Shahbaz Ilyas, are determined to pick the best players for a tournament that saw big names like Shahid Afridi, Virender Sehwag, Eoin Morgan in the inaugural edition in Sharjah.
“Definitely, everybody wants to win. But right now players are getting into the draft. We will know which players will be available to be picked,” he said.
“We will start from that list and it’s a very fair draft. Every team gets an opportunity to bid for one player and you have to decide who could be your icon player.”
For Lucky Morani, who made her Bollywood debut as an actress in Main Aur Charles, this will be the start of a new innings in her life.
“It’s not very often that you see a woman on a panel of cricket owners. I always like to do things differently and I am glad that I am making a difference by being the only lady on board,” she said.
“And I have been with Mohomed pretty much all through the way. Whatever we do, we do it together. He always has my support in his endeavours, so it makes me happy to be there with him and encourage the whole concept of T10 cricket.”