NBA star Chris Paul, NFK duo of Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum have invested in the Indian Premier League franchises Rajasthan Royals. The IPL revealed the news on Sunday, underlining IPL`s growing global appeal.

The popular Twenty20 league, which counts Bollywood actors and industrialists among franchise owners and attracts the who`s who of cricket, has grown into a 10-team affair this season with Gujarat and Ahmedabad paying a combined $1.7 billion to come on board.

The three Americans will be minority investors in 2008 champions Rajasthan, the franchise said in a statement without sharing details of their investment.

“We are extremely pleased to have Chris, Larry and Kelvin join us as investors who have seen the vision of the Royals as a truly global brand,” said Rajasthan`s lead owner Manoj Badale.

The United States will co-host the 2024 Twenty20 World Cup, although cricket has not become popular there.

“I am excited to have become one of the first US athletes to see the value and scope for growth in the IPL,” said NBA star Paul, 36. “With a variety of components, including stadium experience and fan engagement still left to fulfil their course, I see myself contributing world-class experience through this strategic investment.”

The two-time Olympic gold medallist also has a stake in the minor league baseball team Winston-Salem Dash.

Rajasthan owners acquired a majority stake in the Caribbean Premier League team Barbados Tridents last year.

“I am keenly aware of the popularity of cricket internationally and am thrilled to join the Rajasthan Royals franchise as an investor,” Arizona Cardinals` offensive tackle Beachum said.  “I respect the global reach of the IPL and am committed to supporting the Royals.

-With Inputs from Reuters 

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