DUBAI: The latest team to join the UIM E1 World Championship, the first all-electric powerboating series, will have a duo of high-profile principals at the helm of The Blue Rising Team in cricket superstar Virat Kohli and sports technology entrepreneur Adi K. Mishra.
Former captain of the Indian cricket team and ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2017 and 2018, Kohli is regarded as one of the game’s greatest batsmen, and boasts an Instagram following of 260 million.
“I want to inspire people to have a competitive spirit and to raise awareness about sustainability issues, something I am becoming more and more passionate about as we build a family,” Kohli said. “I can’t wait to cheer for our male and female pilots racing for our team. I’m looking forward to lining up against the likes of Tom Brady, Rafa Nadal, Sergio Perez, Steve Aoki and Didier Drogba — we’re going electric, we’re going ﬂying over the water and we’re going to try to win it for The Blue Rising.”
The Blue Rising Team name was chosen to draw attention to marine conservation and the threat posed by rising sea levels around the world, and also as a celebration of the color at the heart of India’s sports teams.
Kohli will be supported by leading entrepreneur and League Sports Co. Founder and CEO Adi K. Mishra. The LSC is a sports technology holding company that owns and operates sports teams, gaming businesses, and brands including the World Bowling League.
“We are excited to partner with one of the best athletes of our generation and arguably one of the best batsmen in the history of cricket,” said Mishra. “It has also been a pleasure to work alongside Bunty Sajdeh, CEO of Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment, who has played a key role.
“And the ﬁrm has already brought insightful conversations with brands that share our combined values with the UIM E1 World Championship of sustainability and gender inclusion. We are keen to explore partnerships with the UIM E1 World Championship and some of the other team owners with the World Bowling League in order to elevate both sports.”
The inaugural season, scheduled to start in February 2024, will see up to 10 teams and 20 mixed-gender pilots racing on the water in iconic cities around the world, with the US due to host a race in season two.
Rodi Basso, co-founder and CEO of the championship, said: “The start line for the ﬁrst season of the UIM E1 World Championship is ﬁlling up fast, and our seventh team is a big one for us. Virat Kohli’s passion for sustainability, combined with Adi’s ability to drive success, will make The Blue Rising Team a force to be reckoned with on the water.”
Meanwhile Alejandro Agag, co-founder and chairman of the UIM E1 World Championship — and also chairman of the one-seater electric series Formula E — revealed his delight at announcing another “fantastic team” to the new sport.
“Spearheaded by cricket superstar Virat Kohli, The Blue Rising Team says it all in their name,” he said. “No doubt on the water, their sportsmanship will allow their team to thrive and guide their team to success. Off the water, their strength in championing sport with purpose is something we want to elevate and by joining forces together especially with our diverse fan base, I believe we can inspire and educate future generations. The race is on and I cannot wait for the ﬁrst race of the UIM E1 World Championship in Jeddah next year.”