by Rex Clementine
Cricket’s authorities have been trying to break into the US and Chinese markets for several years now but with little success. There’s some light at the end of the tunnel in US at least as the cricket kicks off with Major League Cricket (MLC) later this year.
US has one of biggest television demands in cricket due to the large number of expatriates living there. But very little has been done to cater to their desires over the years. MLC could be the answer for it all, just what the doctor ordered.
The six team venture will get underway on the 13th of July and the 18 game tournament will conclude with the finals scheduled for 30th of July. The games will take place in Dallas in Texas in a newly built cricket purpose stadium with a possibility of a second venue being used for group games.
The project is backed and funded by some leading business names in the United States including Satya Nadella, the Microsoft boss.
Four IPL teams have taken stakes in MLC league while two leading Australian cricket establishments – Cricket Victoria and Cricket New South Wales have taken charge of San Francisco Unicorns and Washington Freedom respectively.
The rest of the teams are all owned by IPL sides – Los Angeles Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians New York, Seattle Orcas (Delhi Capitals) and Texas Super Kings.
Players with international exposure but are now eligible to represent USA were picked in the initial draft. It is this exposure that will make the US cricket team a vibrant force in the world and encourage others to move to the states. US will host next year’s T-20 World Cup alongside West Indies.
There will now be quite a lot of interest in the recruitment of overseas players. If the organizers are able to attract some big names the event will be a huge success. Already players like Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, Quintin de Kock and Wanindu Hasaranga have signed up for the event.
While the Indian players will bring in the television market, there will be lot of interest on West Indies stars as well to help the event grow.
There will be quite a lot of interest from the leading stars as well with organizers willing to offer as much as US$ 1 million for just two weeks of cricket.