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©  Atlanta Dunia 


Major League Cricket’s Inaugural Season Lays the Strong Foundation for a Bright Future for Cricket in the U.S.

By Mahadev Desai

The inaugural season of MLC concluded spectacularly with the Final between MI New York and Seattle Orcas at the Grand Prairie Stadium 0n Sunday, July 30. Mi New York beat Seattle Orcas in the Final.

19 matches were played in all. Six teams competed in a Twenty 20(T20) format. Initial 8 matches were played in Texas; and next seven in North Carolina. Despite the very hot weather, not a single match was cancelled. All the teams had rosters with international stars and domestic players. The 15 matches, were followed with the Eliminator; Qualifier; Challenger and the Final.

In the Final, attended by over 8,000 fans, Seattle Orcas scored 183/9 in 20 overs. MI New York responded with a blazing 184/3 in 16 overs and won by seven wickets !
For Seattle Orcas; opening batsman Quinton de Kock scored 87 runs, with 9 fours and four sixes. Shubham Ranjane scored 29. MI New York bowlers Rashid Khan and Trent Boult took 3 wkts. each. And for the MI New York, stand-in Captain, West Indies wkt. -keeper, batsman, Nicholas Pooran, smashed an unbeaten 137 off 55 balls, that included 10 fours and 13 sixes! DeWald Breves scored 20. Seattle Orcas bowlers Imad Wasim and Wayne Parnell took one wicket each.

Fireworks exploded in the night sky above a packed Grand Prairie Stadium in north Texas on Sunday evening, in celebration of the successful conclusion of the inaugural season.

The Major League Cricket (MLC) Trophy was presented by one of the noted cricketers of all-time, Sunil Gavaskar, to the winning captain of MI New York, Nicholas Pooran. He was also bestowed with the SLING-TV Most Valuable Player of the Tournament award, Royal Rice Award; Player of the Match Award; Power Hitter Award; and Betway Player of the Match Award.
NTT Leading wkt. -Taker Award went to Trent Boult.
BRAT King Award (Domestic Player of the Tournament) was presented to Cameron Gannon.
Majority of the matches had full houses. There was an extensive local, national and international coverage of the matches through live broadcasts on Willow TV and CBS Sports Network in the United States. Match highlights were also watched by fans worldwide. 
Mrs. Nita Ambani, the owner of MI New York, the inaugural MLC champions, who was among the fans cheerleading her team; commented effusively; “Just look at the atmosphere here. It looks like a festival of cricket. I think MLC is a momentous step in the development of cricket in this region. Sport can be a bedrock of society and especially in the US it's a big part of the culture. So, for us to join hands with MLC and play our role in the growth and development of cricket in this region is fantastic."

The inaugural season has been successful on all counts, and has laid the foundation for a bright future for cricket in the U.S..MLC hopes to extend it to ten teams in the near future. Cricket stadiums are planned in Irwine, CA; San Jose, CA; Brooklyn, NY; and Redmond, Washington. More domestic players will be included in the teams. The T20 format with shorter, faster, exciting matches, with cheerleaders, loud music, and fun-filled glitzy entertainment is sure to attract mainstream audience to cricket. The game’s popularity will also increase because U.S. will be co-hosting with West Indies the 2024 World Cup.!


' Sep-08-2023