The advent of T20 cricket has led to the introduction of several T20 leagues across the world with numerous teams having their own way of going about the game of cricket. Almost every recognized cricketing nation has a T20 league of its own consisting of at least 5-6 franchises.
Leagues like the IPL, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League are popular compared to the others. The franchises playing these competitions have built a brand for themselves after playing for several years.
Building a brand comes only after coining a good name. While the team name in the franchise cricket usually consists of the region and a keyword that describes them, some franchise owners have chosen bizarre names for their teams that make them stand out among others.
Some of these teams have proven that there is nothing in the name and achieved great heights on the cricket field.
Let us take a look at 5 of the weirdest names of T20 franchises in the world.
#5 Rising Pune Supergiant
The reincarnation of the Pune franchise in the IPL were called the Rising Pune Supergiants when they first arrived in 2016. The men in violet and purple were in only for a couple of years due to the suspension of the CSK and RR.
After a forgettable season in 2016 when they languished at the bottom of the table, the team changed their name from 'Rising Pune Supergiants' to 'Rising Pune Supergiant' by dropping the 's'. The management contended that it was not just about a few players but the entire team had a 'Supergiant' ability.
It is very rare to find the names of cricket teams in a singular form. Pune's journey in the IPL was topsy-turvy. After finishing seventh in the league stage in 2016, they made it to the finals the following year. As of today, the RPS franchise stands defunct after the return of the CSK and RR.
#4 Duronto Rajshahi
The Duronto Rajshahi was a franchise that played the first two editions of the Bangladesh Premier League in 2012 and 2013 before the league took a hiatus for few years. The men from the Rajshahi region of Bangladesh played in yellow uniforms under the name 'Duronto'.
The word 'Duronto' stands for restless in Bangla. Also, another meaning of the word is a class of trains. Obviously, a cricket team named after a train sounds little outlandish and does not go well with the theme of a T20 cricket league.
Several noteable players like Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Moeen Ali, Marlon Samuels etc. have played for this team. Subsequently, on the reinstatement of the Bangladesh Premier League, the name was changed to 'Rajshahi Kings' and was led by the West Indian all-rounder Daren Sammy.
#3 Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel
The Caribbean Premier League extravaganza is no short of flair and entertainment. Arguably, it is the 'biggest party in the sport'. The team from a leading cricketing country of the Caribbean islands i.e. Trinidad and Tobago had their franchise called 'Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel'.
Red Steel is not a widely-used word in English but actually the name of a video game on Nintendo Wii. There are not a lot of cricket teams around who have the same name as a video game, are there?
The side was eventually taken over by the Knight Riders brand of Shahrukh Khan and Venky Mysore and given the same name as their Kolkata counterpart (Trinbago Knight Riders). The Red Steel won an edition of the CPL in 2015 and had several stars like Dwayne Bravo, Ross Taylor, Sunil Narine in their ranks.
#2 Uva Next
This team from the Uva province, participating in the Sri Lankan Premier League 2012, were called 'Uva Next'. The team, owned by Success Private Sports Ltd., are perhaps the only to have an adverb of time in their name. A generic word like 'next' does not suit a cricket team.
The Uva Next had some notable international players like Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Jacob Oram and Shivnarine Chanderpaul in their ranks. The men in red went on to win the inaugural Sri Lankan Premier edition and played qualifiers of the CLT20 in 2012 but did not reach the league stage.
The Sri Lankan Premier League was scrapped after just one edition and hence the Uva Next team stands defunct in today's times. However, they have the honor of being the only title-holders in the SLPL. Well, what's in a name?
#1 Mumbai Indians
The three-time IPL winners have been the team to watch out for in the IPL over the years. Mumbai's IPL journey started on a dismal note in 2008 and 2009, but they have not looked back since then. The team has won 3 titles since 2013 under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma.
Originally going to be named as the Mumbai Razors, the men in blue and gold got 'Indians' in their name on the recommendation of their former skipper Sachin Tendulkar. Since the word 'Indians' denotes a nationality, it is a strange choice for a franchise name.
Nevertheless, the MI have built a brand for themselves and the name Mumbai Indians has been etched in the minds of the cricket fans. The fans have their unique identity as being 'MI Paltan' which means MI family. Indeed, the franchise is not just a cricket team but a big family.