Cricket fans in the US now have another Major League to follow besides soccer and baseball: Major League Cricket 2023 is the latest franchise-based cricket league that can keep them engaged, drawing big names from cricket’s worldwide circuit to its glamorous tournaments such as other franchise leagues worldwide. And with many major international stars participating, Major League 2023 has certainly captured people’s attention! Major League Cricket (MLC) is an American Twenty20 cricket league operated and certified by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) under USA Cricket regulations.
On July 13, 2023, Major League Cricket (MLC) made its inaugural debut featuring six teams representing major U.S. cities under a single entity model. It played its inaugural three week season between Grand Prairie Stadium in Grand Prairie Texas and Church Street Park Morrisville North Carolina from July 13-30 2023, concluding on July 30, 2023. A development league called Minor League Cricket (MiLC), had also completed its inaugural year by featuring 27 franchise-based teams competing.
The MLC will start its first season with six teams, with the aim of increasing that number to eight at some point in a few years. The six founding teams have their headquarters in the cities of Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, respectively. Washington, DC is the seventh location.
The following is a list of the six teams and the cities in which they are based:
Team1: Los Angeles Knight Riders – Irvine, California its home cities
Team2: MI New York – Brooklyn, New York its home cities
Team3: San Francisco Unicorns- San Jose, California its home cities
Team4: Seattle Orcas – Redmond, Washington its home cities
Team5: Texas Super Kings – Grand Prairie, Texas its home cities
Team6: Washington Freedom – Fairfax, Virginia its home cities
U.S. cricket’s governing body, USA Cricket, approved American Cricket Enterprises’ proposal of $1 billion to pay for the MLC and other investments advantageous to the national team when USA Cricket replaced the USA Cricket Association in January 2019. Satyan Gajwani and Vineet Jain of The Times Group are among the ACE’s partners, as are Willow TV’s Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan. MLC’s initial round of funding, in 2022, brought approximately around USD 120 million. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Ross Perot Jr., an American businessman, Anand Rajaraman, an entrepreneur, and Shantanu Narayen, a former CEO of Adobe, are among the investors in the MLC.
In 2023, some of the best Twenty20 players in the world were participating in the Major League Cricket (MLC).
Jason Roy: English opener Jason Roy, known for his powerful hitting and fast starts, was named in the all-star lineup.
Sunil Narine and Andre Russell: Sunil Narine and Andre Russell were two other Caribbean superstars joining him on his tour, both known for their all-round abilities that have contributed greatly to helping the West Indies achieve numerous victories.
Marcus Stoinis: Marcus Stoinis provided an international flavor by dominating with both aggressive hitting and adaptable bowling – two qualities which set apart this international all-rounder as one of Australia’s finest players. His presence made an international event even more engaging!
Rashid Khan: The Afghan leg-spin star Rashid Khan wowed the crowds at the MLC with his fascinating deliveries and impressive wicket-taking.
Trent Boult: Trent Boult of New Zealand was well known for his deadly left arm swing bowling; this talent also contributed expert skills that strengthened the league.
Kagiso Rabada: Kagiso Rabada a fast bowler from South Africa made an immediate impactful statement when he entered the league, showing off his blistering speed and breaking partnerships easily.
Wanindu Hasaranga: Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga, known for his deft leg-spin and powerful lower-order hitting abilites.
Each squad must have at least 16 and not more than 19 players.
Minimum of nine domestic players and maximum of nine international players are required for each squad, with at least one ‘rookie’ (a player under the age of 23) from the same country.
The number of non-local players in a starting XI cannot exceed six.
The first round of MLC will consist of a single round-robin group stage, with all six teams playing each other once throughout 15 matches.
Four teams will advance to the knockout round once the group round concludes.
Third and fourth place teams compete in the first playoff game, known as the Eliminator, with the loser being eliminated from further postseason play.
The top two teams then face off in the Qualifier, with the winner advancing directly to the Final.
After the Qualifier and Eliminator, the two remaining teams meet in the Challenger, with the team with the highest score qualifying towards the Final.
The MLC is the sixth-highest paying cricket league in the world, based on average player wages.