MLC: Your Guide to USA's New T20 League

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Are you ready for the arrival of Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States? As yet another
franchise-based T20 tournament joins the cricketing landscape, here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new league.

Hold on a minute! Another T20 league? Aren’t there already dozens of them around the world?

Yes, there are indeed many T20 leagues out there, but MLC brings a unique twist as it marks the first franchise cricket tournament in the USA.

Wait, cricket in the USA? Do they even play cricket there?
Absolutely! Cricket has a long history in the USA, dating back to as early as 1844. In fact, the USA was involved in the first-ever cricket match between two countries, which took place at the St George’s Cricket Club ground in New York against Canada.

More recently, the USA men’s team participated in the ODI World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe. While they didn’t secure a victory, their presence at the qualifiers itself was an accomplishment.

The USA has talented players within its cricketing system, and MLC aims to foster the growth of the game in the country. The timing of the league is significant as well, as both the USA and the West Indies will be hosting the men’s T20 World Cup around the same time next year. As hosts, the USA (alongside the West Indies) has secured automatic qualification for the tournament.

So, what can we expect from MLC? Keep reading to find out more about the teams, players, format, fixtures, and everything else that will make this league an exciting addition to the cricketing calendar in the USA.

Major League Cricket (MLC): All You Need to Know About the Exciting Tournament

Alright, let’s dive deeper into the details of Major League Cricket (MLC). After a series of delays, the league is finally set to kick off on July 13, promising an action-packed cricket extravaganza. Operated by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) and sanctioned by USA Cricket, MLC has also received the official stamp of approval from the ICC.

ACE, the driving force behind MLC, is backed by industry veterans Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, the founders of Willow TV, North America’s largest cricket broadcaster. The Times Group in India, represented by Satyan Gajwani and Vineet Jain, also joins the initiative. Notably, the league has secured a substantial financial investment of US$ 120 million, with notable backers including Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Shantanu Narayen, chairman and CEO of Adobe.

Now, let’s talk about the tournament itself. In its inaugural season, MLC will feature a concise and exciting schedule of 19 games. The action begins on July 13 (July 14 in India) with the first match, and culminates with the highly anticipated final on July 30 (July 31 in India). Get ready for some early morning cricket as matches are scheduled to start at 6am IST.

The tournament structure consists of 15 group-stage games, followed by an eliminator, two qualifiers, and the grand finale. With six teams in the mix, the competition will kick off with a round-robin format, similar to the IPL. However, unlike the IPL, each team will face off against the others only once during the league phase. Excitement will be at its peak as the top four teams from the group stage progress to the playoffs, battling it out for ultimate glory.

For a complete overview of the fixtures, make sure to check out the full list. Brace yourself for an enthralling cricketing spectacle as MLC takes center stage in the USA!

Major League Cricket (MLC): All You Need to Know About the Exciting Tournament

Let’s explore the exciting teams and venues of Major League Cricket (MLC). Six teams will battle it out for supremacy in this thrilling tournament. You might notice a familiar ring to some of the team names, and that’s because four of them are owned by IPL franchise owners. The teams are Los Angeles Knight Riders, MI New York, San Francisco Unicorns, Seattle Orcas, Texas Super Kings, and Washington Freedom.

The ownership connections are quite intriguing. Los Angeles Knight Riders, MI New York, and Texas Super Kings are owned by IPL franchise owners, so you can guess the associations there. Seattle Orcas, on the other hand, are owned by the GMR Group, who also co-own Delhi Capitals in the IPL. The stakes are raised further by the presence of these well-established owners in multiple T20 leagues.

Let’s delve into the ownership of the remaining two teams. Washington Freedom is owned by IndianAmerican entrepreneur Sanjay Govil, and they have partnered with Cricket New South Wales as their high-performance partner. San Francisco Unicorns, on the other hand, are owned by Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, and they have Cricket Victoria as their partner for the first season. It’s evident that serious business is at play in MLC.

Now, let’s talk about the venues where the MLC matches will take place. The first eight league games will be held at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas, providing an exciting atmosphere for cricket enthusiasts. Afterward, the teams will move to Church Street Park Stadium in Morrisville, North Carolina, for the next seven encounters. The playoffs will return to the Grand Prairie Stadium, ensuring a captivating climax to the tournament.

You might not be familiar with these stadiums, but they have their unique charm. Grand Prairie Stadium was originally a baseball park but underwent redevelopment in 2022 to transform into a dedicated cricket stadium. It can accommodate a substantial crowd of nearly 7,000 passionate fans. On the other hand, Church Street Park in Morrisville has a capacity of around 3,500, which can be expanded up to 5,000, offering an intimate and thrilling cricketing experience. 

With top-notch teams and fantastic venues, the stage is set for an exhilarating MLC season!

Get Ready for an Exciting MLC Season: Teams, Broadcasts, and Squad Details

Let’s dive deeper into Major League Cricket (MLC) and explore some fascinating details. Although Fort Lauderdale, known for hosting international cricket, won’t be a venue for MLC matches due to the upcoming T20Is between India and the Caribbean, the league has its own set of intriguing matchups to offer.

Will people come to watch the MLC matches? While we can’t predict the future, the enthusiasm for cricket among South Asian and Caribbean expats in the USA is significant. Additionally, a substantial portion of the USA national team comprises cricket enthusiasts. MLC recently announced that tickets for the opening match between Texas and Los Angeles have already sold out, indicating promising attendance.

If you’re unable to catch the games at the stadium, don’t worry! MLC matches will be available on various broadcasting platforms. Willow TV will broadcast the matches in the USA and Canada, while Sports18 and Jio will provide coverage in India. Fans in Australia can tune in to Fox, while SportsMax will cater to the Caribbean audience. SKY NZ will showcase the matches in New Zealand, A Sports in Pakistan, SuperSport in South Africa, and BT Sport in the UK.

Now, let’s talk about the star players who will grace the MLC stage. Los Angeles Knight Riders boast the talents of Jason Roy, Sunil Narine, and Andre Russell. MI New York showcases the skills of Rashid Khan, Trent Boult, and Kieron Pollard. San Francisco Unicorns field Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, and Corey Anderson. Texas Super Kings feature Faf du Plessis, Devon Conway, and David Miller. Seattle Orcas have the firepower of Quinton de Kock, Shimron Hetmyer, Imad Wasim, and Sikandar Raza. Finally, Washington Freedom boasts the presence of Wanindu Hasaranga, Anrich Nortje, and Marco Jansen.

The squads are indeed impressive, and you can find the full squad lists for each team.

Now, let’s address the regulations regarding overseas players. Each MLC team can have a roster comprising a maximum of 19 players and a minimum of 16 players. Among them, a maximum of nine international players are allowed. Additionally, each squad must include at least one USA Under-23 player to provide opportunities for emerging American talent. To maintain a balance, a minimum of ten domestic players must be part of the squad.

During matches, teams can field a maximum of six overseas players and a minimum of five domestic players in their final playing XIs.

With all these exciting details, it’s clear that MLC is set to deliver an enthralling cricketing experience, showcasing the best of local and international talent!

Player Draft, Captains, and T20 Status: Insider Info on MLC

Add Your Heading Text HLet's delve into the details of how the players were selected for MLC and uncover some intriguing facts about the league.

The domestic players for MLC were chosen through an exciting player draft event held at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston on March 19. The first pick of the draft was Harmeet Singh, a member of India's victorious Under-19 World Cup team in 2012, who was quickly signed by the Seattle Orcas. Steven Taylor, an American-born player, became the first domestic pick as New York selected him. Another notable player in the draft was Unmukt Chand, a former India U-19 star who is now based in the USA and was acquired by the Los Angeles Knight Riders.

You might be curious about other Indian players participating in MLC. Alongside Chand and Harmeet, we have Chaitanya Bishnoi, Tajinder Singh, Shubham Ranjane, and Smit Patel. All of these players have retired from the Indian domestic circuit. Ambati Rayudu was also set to join but had to withdraw due to the BCCI's proposal of implementing a year-long cooling-off period for retired players before they can participate in overseas T20 leagues.

Now, let's talk about the captains leading the MLC teams. Faf du Plessis will helm the Texas Super Kings, while Sunil Narine will take charge of the Los Angeles Knight Riders. Wayne Parnell has been appointed captain of the Seattle Orcas, Kieron Pollard will lead MI New York, Aaron Finch will guide the San Francisco Unicorns, and Washington Freedom will be captained by Moises Henriques.

One crucial aspect to note is that although the MLC matches are being played in the T20 format, they won't have T20 status. This means that the records from these matches will not reflect in the players' profiles. This is due to the fact that the USA, like the UAE where the ILT20 is held, is not a Full-Member nation.

With the player draft, the appointment of captains, and an interesting twist regarding T20 status, the stage is set for MLC to showcase its unique blend of cricketing talent. Exciting times lie ahead for cricket enthusiasts in the USA! ere

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