Major League Cricket (MLC): T20 Cricket Enters the Biggest Sports Market

United States of America is one of the best sporting nations in the world and has undoubtedly produced some of the greatest athletes of all time. Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in Basketball, Michael Phelps (the player with the highest number of Olympic Gold medal) in swimming, and Tiger Woods in Golf and Tom Brady in American Football, all have dominated their respective sports by miles. The reason to this is the massive sporting industry the United States is and the sporting league system that exists there. The National Basketball League (NBA), the Major League Soccer (MLS) for Football, The National Football League (NFL) are some of the biggest sporting leagues in the world in terms of revenue they generate. But in a country like the USA, where sports is a major part of their economy and culture, we need to ask the question of Why has cricket, the second biggest sport in the world not a big sport in the country and how is it growing in the nation. 

LeBron James celebrates after becoming the player with the highest points in the history of the NBA

Credit: Olympics

Also Read: Football vs Cricket

In this article by ZAP, we will decode this reason and know more about the Major League Cricket T20 (MLC T20), America’s first T20 Cricket League. 

What is the Major League Cricket (MLC)?

The sporting environment in the United States has been undergoing a dramatic change in the last few years. While sports like Basketball, American Football, Golf and Hockey have dominated the stage for many years, there has been a shift in sporting paradigm in the country. As a lot of people from the subcontinent live in the States, there’s a clear cult following of cricket in the country. Also, Virat Kohli is one of the biggest sportsman in the world, the third most followed sportsman on Instagram, has created a following in the US too. And finally, the rise of cricket and the T20 format, the most entertaining cricket format throughout the world, too has had a huge impact on this shift. Club this all together, and you get a new age T20 Cricket League, the Major League Cricket (MLC).

Also Read: How to play Cricket Like a Pro | Cricket Rules

The Major League Cricket (MLC) T20 Trophy

Credit: AugustMan

Major League Cricket (MLC) is a new professional Twenty20 (T20) cricket league in the United States. This professional league is ushering in a new era for cricket in America and is backed by some of the biggest names in the sport, including some team owners of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Major Cricket League History:

Prior attempts to create T20 cricket leagues in the United States, such as Pro Cricket in 2004(just a single season) and the American Premier League (no seasons played) proved to be unproductive and very short lived, but laid the groundwork for Major League Cricket in the country. 

With important partners including The Times Group and Willow TV founders, American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) was able to acquire a $1 billion investment for the league in 2019. This was a significant step towards materialization of the idea of the league. After receiving financing from Indian Premier League giants Kolkata Knight Riders. A proper youth league system and development programmes were set up to create a growing cricketing infrastructure. 

The league's original launch was postponed until 2023 as a result of COVID-19 and stadium construction delays. MLC raised $120 million in fundraising in 2022 from well-known investors like Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

The MLC revealed plans in November 2022 for its first season, which would take place in July 2023 and include six franchises in a round-robin style. Despite early doubts about the league's legitimacy, the player draft was held in March 2023, and on April 13, 2023, the International Cricket Council (ICC) formally approved the league, enabling it to start operations.

Major League Cricket Teams and Owners:

The MLC Tournament 2023 started with 6 teams with the ACE managing all teams, but they were owned by the people and companies that had invested in the league. The Los Angeles Knight Riders were owned by KKR owners Knight Riders Group, MI New York is owned by Mumbai Indians owner Indiawin Sports, Seattle Orcas are owned by Delhi Capitals owners GMR Group and Microsoft CEO and Texas Super Kings is owned by the Chennai Super Kings owners along with Anurag Jain and Ross Perot Jr.

Two other teams San Francisco Unicorns and Washington Freedom are owned by other owners. 

The Major League Cricket Team Captains pose with the trophy

Credit: The Times of India





Los Angeles Knight Riders

Knight Riders Group

Sunil Narine

Phil Simmons

MI New York

Indiawin Sports

Kieron Pollard

Robin Peterson

San Francisco Unicorns

Anand Rajaraman, Venky Harinarayan

Aaron Finch

Shane Watson

Seattle Orcas

GMR Group, Satya Nadella

Wayne Parnell

Pravin Amre

Texas Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings, Anurag Jain, Ross Perot Jr.

Faf du Plessis

Stephen Fleming

Washington Freedom

Sanjay Govil

Moises Henriques

Greg Shipperd

Major League Cricket Teams and Squads:

Los Angeles Knight Riders

MI New York

San Francisco Unicorns

Seattle Orcas

Texas Super Kings

Washington Freedom

Sunil Narine (c)

Kieron Pollard (c)

Aaron Finch (c)

Wayne Parnell (c)

Faf du Plessis (c)

Moises Henriques (c)

Ali Khan

Steven Taylor

Corey Anderson

Harmeet Singh

Rusty Theron

Andries Gous

Unmukt Chand

Hammad Azam

Liam Plunkett

Shehan Jayasuriya

Calvin Savage

Mukhtar Ahmed

Jaskaran Malhotra (wk)

Ehsan Adil

Tajinder Singh

Shubham Ranjane

Lahiru Milantha

Obus Pienaar

Nitish Kumar

Nosthush Kenjige

Chaitanya Bishnoi

Cameron Gannon

Milind Kumar

Saurabh Netravalkar

Corne Dry

Monank Patel (wk)

Carmi Le Roux

Aaron Jones

Sami Aslam

Saad Ali

Ali Sheikh

Sarabjit Ladda

Brody Couch

Nauman Anwar

Cameron Stevenson

Dane Piedt

Saif Badar

Shayan Jahangir (wk)

David White

Phani Simhadri

Cody Chetty

Sujith Gowda

Shadley van Schalkwyk

Kyle Phillip

Smit Patel (wk)

Angelo Perera

Zia Shahzad

Justin Dill

Bhaskar Yadram

Saideep Ganesh

Sanjay Krishnamurthi

Matthew Tromp

Saiteja Mukkamalla

Akhilesh Bodugum

Andre Russell

Trent Boult

Marcus Stoinis

Mitchell Marsh

Devon Conway

Wanindu Hasaranga

Jason Roy

Rashid Khan

Lungi Ngidi

Quinton de Kock (wk)

Mitchell Santner

Anrich Nortje

Lockie Ferguson

Tim David

Matthew Wade (wk)

Dasun Shanaka

Daniel Sams

Marco Jansen

Martin Guptill

Dewald Brevis

Qais Ahmad

Sikandar Raza

David Miller

Glenn Phillips

Adam Zampa

David Wiese

Finn Allen

Andrew Tye

Gerald Coetzee

Adam Milne

Rilee Rossouw

Kagiso Rabada

Mackenzie Harvey

Heinrich Klaasen

Dwayne Bravo

Josh Philippe

Spencer Johnson

Nicholas Pooran

Haris Rauf

Izharulhaq Naveed

Ambati Rayudu

Ben Dwarshuis

Gajanand Singh

Jason Behrendorff

Shadab Khan

Dwaine Pretorius

Mohammad Mohsin

Akeal Hosein

Jasdeep Singh

Amila Aponso

Nisarg Patel

Imran Tahir

Usman Rafiq

Tristan Stubbs

Shimron Hetmyer

Tanveer Sangha

Imad Wasim

Matthew Short

Reason For Major League Cricket (MLC) Tournament Success:

The Fans watching a MLC T20 Tournament Match

Credit: The Indian Express

Exceeding All Expectations:

Baseball was the only sport similar to cricket in America, but had a lot of differences. Different grounds and pitch conditions and comepletely different rules. But, the MLC smashed through all the doubts, creating a huge infrastructure for cricket stadium and training ground, with the pitch conditions at the grounds too extremely suitable for a cricket match.

High Investments and Attractive Salaries:

With over $100 million invested and support from influential Indian businessmen, MLC managed to attract high-profile international cricketers through lucrative salaries. This financial backing and strong incentives played a crucial role in making the league a success.

Massive Fan Turnout:

The tournament witnessed massive fan turnouts, with over 70,000 fans attending matches played in two venues, Grand Prairie Stadium near Dallas, and Church Street Park in Morrisville, North Carolina. The growing South Asian population in the U.S. contributed to the passionate fan base.

Impressive Revenues:

The tournament generated approximately $8 million in revenues, surpassing initial expectations. The success attracted numerous sponsors, indicating the potential for future growth.


What is the full form of MLC League?

The full form of the MLC T20 is Major League Cricket.

Was Major League Cricket successful?

The MLC T20 Tournament was very successful and there are various reason for this. The management of the tournament exceeded all expectations, and the players who played in the tournament were high profile international players. Also, the fan attendance in the grounds turned out to be massive, with about 70,000 people coming to the ground to attend matches. These were the reasons why the competition was so successful.


The Major League Cricket (MLC) T20 was one of the most awaited cricket tournament for the past few years. It was a huge success and surely paves the way for entry of cricket in the sports world of the United States of America. Also, this tournament was one of the main reason for the inclusion of cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The 2024 ICC T20 Wolrd Cup will also be held in the states. The only wait now is for the game to get the attention of the American media and go truly global.

Now that you have read about the MLC T20, here are some more articles to read and know everything about the sport, it's legends and the grounds in depth.

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