USA's Major League Cricket Secures £100m Funding
Liam Plunkett (PC: Twitter)
The inception of the high-octane and fast-paced T20 format has helped franchise cricket bloom and become a global affair. While South Africa and UAE are the latest additions to the lengthy list of nations who are investing in the prospering cash-rich leagues, the United States of America does not want to stay behind.
United States, as per England's former right-arm pace bowler, Liam Plunkett, is all set to launch its first-ever professional T20 tournament named Major League Cricket next summer, backed by a funding of £100million from private investors including tech giants like Microsoft and Adobe.
The USA's multi-million-dollar T20 tournament will feature six franchises based in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC and is likely to clash with England's T20 Blast series next summer.
Plunkett predicts an 'explosion' of T20 cricket
Plunkett, the 2019 World Cup winning member quit English cricket last year and sailed to America with his wife Emeleah after signing a three-year deal with The Philadelphians in Minor League Cricket (MiLC) in the 2022 edition.
According to the agreement, Plunkett will play and coach the upcoming generation of cricketers for the Philadelphians, as the United States of America aims to expand the game of cricket in their country.
"It’s go big or go home. That is how they do stuff in America. And with the money that is behind this, it is going to be massive. I think it will explode. Americans want to watch the best and I think we can attract them. I think they will definitely jump on board when they see how big it is."
The former Surrey pacer further added the new professional T20 league will surely attract top players from across the world including English and Caribbean stars.
"With how many people love cricket here and the way Americans put on a show, you will get packed-out crowds. Hopefully, you will get people like Jonny Bairstow, Andre Russell, and all of these guys coming across to play. It is a lot of people’s dream to play sports in America."
MLC to offer good salaries to players
The Co-founder of Major League Cricket, Sameer Mehta feels that the new franchise tournament will offer a good amount to rival other domestic competitions except the IPL.
"We are quite hopeful that the best cricketers in the world will come and we will have very decent salary caps. I expect this to be very attractive and the US is also an attractive destination."
"June and July are the months we will be focusing on and we are lucky to not have too many clashes with international cricket or league cricket outside of England."
The much-hyped USA six-team tournament is all set to get underway next summer. If reports are to be believed, the IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders have also acquired one of the six franchises in the Major Cricket league.
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