After several years of delays, Major League Cricket’s first season is set to take place from July 13-30 2023 in Dallas, Texas.
The American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) have announced the window between July 13 and July 30 next year to host the first edition of Major League Cricket (MLC) T20. This is Three years after securing the rights to own and operate a flagship T20 league in the USA.
The announcement further confirmed a total of 19 games played among six franchise teams in a round robin format followed by the knockout rounds.
Six teams — Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle and New York City — will each stock their rosters with multiple global stars playing alongside U.S. cricketers. Team names and identities will be unveiled in early 2023.
“We’ve got a really unique opportunity here to bring the best players in the world out, and this is going to be the place to play in Dallas,” Geale said, MLC Tournament Director, who has also served as a Director of Cricket Operations at the IPL.
Earlier in May, ACE confirmed pledging $120m towards the start-up from some high-profile business tycoons, a list headlined by Seattle-based Microsoft CE0 Satya Nadella.
The ownership structure of these franchises is yet to be finalized but it is learnt that there is significant interest from several IPL franchises to acquire the rights of these franchises.
The franchise owners’ announcement is expected in early 2023 followed by the players draft in March.
“Next summer, the eyes of world cricket will be on the launch of Major League Cricket, with the stars of the game competing over three weeks of fast-paced T20 action,” said Justin Geale
“The launch of MLC will transform American cricket and provide one of the best platforms in the sport for the world’s most elite players to showcase their skills while also fast-tracking the development of domestic talent to feature in the league.” added Geale
As part of their agreement with USA Cricket, ACE are responsible to build six state of the art cricket stadiums.
Over the past year and half, ACE have announced grand plans of building new facilities in the metropolitans of Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the recent installation of a turf, the 7000-seater stadium in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie is primed for action in the inaugural season.
With the rest of the stadium plans still in the negotiations phase, it is highly likely ACE might turn towards Morrisville’s Church Street Park and Houston’s Moosa Stadium to lock in 3 venues for the 2023 season.
Sources have also stated to espncricinfo that, Church Street Park in North Carolina may potentially be used as a venue for some of MLC’s matches in 2023.
Also, Sources have confirmed the availability of finest player talent from around the globe.
According to ICC’s FTP, white ball players from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and possibly West Indies are expected to be free off commitments in the second week of July.
The MLC will be preceded by two complete seasons of Minor League Cricket, a 27 team semi professional player pathway tournament, pitching a plethora of first-class players against local American talent.