“The growth progression for the sport [in the USA] is really strong,” said Justin Geale, director of the MLC competition.
Instead of being owned by USA Cricket, the league is privately owned by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE),
The third Ashes Test comes the next day, however Wagga Wagga, Australia native Justin Geale is not in Leeds. Instead, he is in Dallas, which is 4500 miles away. He states, “I’m presently strolling around the stadium. The temperature is around 40 degrees, and in the middle is a cricket field. Major League Cricket (MLC), a six-team franchise competition, has Geale as its director of competitions. He is a seasoned administrator who worked for IMG for eight years, primarily at the IPL, but claims that creating MLC was the hardest thing he has ever done. The league has raised approximately US$ 120 million in finance, and the participation of four IPL owners or co-owners as well as two Australian states as “high-performance partners” enhances its stature. For the inaugural season, which runs from July 13 until July 30, the squad lists are loaded. More than 30 IPL players will work for two and a half weeks in exchange for up to $175,000.
The 2024 men’s T20 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the USA and the West Indies, the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, and the MLC launch are three “touchpoints” that will present themselves in the next five years. The ICC is actively pursuing these three opportunities as part of its strategy to “drive targeted growth” in the USA. Geale asserts that “this is where the growth could be.” “I believe that is acknowledged by all cricket-playing nations. Additionally, the scheduling of the World Cup in 2014 is crucial. We’re not here to compete with MLB [Major League Baseball] or any other sport, I can speak for everyone. However, I believe that the sport is progressing in a really positive way. Instead of being owned by USA Cricket, the league is privately owned by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE), and it basically runs as a start-up. “It’s privately funded by people who see the vision,” Geale claims. There are several well-known businessmen who have private investments. Minor League Cricket, which is meant to be a developing league, has already been held twice. After so many failed attempts, “I’ve said it from the very start: if this is going to work in the USA, then the cricket has to be good,” says Geale. Our goal for the MLC was to bring in some of the finest players in the world, and we’re combining that with local players who were either born here or who moved here and established their life over the previous three years.
Grand Prairie near Dallas, Texas, will host 12 matches this season, while Church Street Park in Morrisville, North Carolina, will host seven. near the future, all six franchises intend to have a home stadium, allowing the league to be played using a full home-and-away system. Geale is optimistic that both locations will support high-caliber cricket: “We’ve done all we can.” Is anyone going to watch it? The opening night is sold out, and Geale reports that sales are “tracking a little ahead” of expectations, while there are still plenty of tickets available for most of the games. It will be televised on major networks worldwide, however the start timings are not ideal for viewers on the subcontinent. In the first few days, Geale says, “I sincerely hope that everyone can see it’s good fun, it has good cricket, and we can really drag some more people in.” However, because Dallas and Houston may be a true hotbed for cricket in this country, “we’re really focusing on engaging local leagues here and local people within the region.” “The Pakistani players are here, and I believe the local supporters are also pleased to have them. There are a ton of Pakistani fans here who are eager to see their idols. I hope that keeps happening in the future. Jeremy Geale
The heat is a major challenge because it is the middle of summer and temperatures will be high throughout the competition. On the plus side, MLC has located a period in the calendar that is largely free of conflicts and only conflicts with a few Test series. Geale says, “I wouldn’t love to start a T20 tournament around Christmas.” As a result, a number of the top players in the world, including Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, and Imad Wasim, who are currently playing for Pakistan, have moved to the United States. The reasons and politics behind the men’s decision to forego the IPL are numerous, according to Geale. “In contrast, we have the chance in the USA since our society is based on freedom. “If you’re talented enough and want to play, come join us. We genuinely want to be an open league. I believe the supporters in attendance are also pleased to have the lads here, as are we. There are a ton of Pakistani fans here who are eager to see their idols. I hope that keeps happening in the future.
MLC and USA Cricket have not always had a good relationship. Geale asserts that while there was a delay in MLC receiving official approval from the regulatory body earlier this year, “It’s in our interests to get along. Without a doubt, we are collaborating on this. Corey Anderson, Liam Plunkett, and Dane Piedt are all considered “domestic players” under the MLC’s permissive definition of the term. However, Geale acknowledges that “American athletes must also be involved if this endeavor is to be long-lasting and viable. They must take part in it. In a recent men’s ODI World Cup qualifying match in Zimbabwe, the USA went winless, indicating that there is still work to be done. The MLC, in which teams can field up to six players this year, requires more homegrown talent. If the league is successful, the ICC plans to implement limitations on the number of overseas players permitted per XI in franchise competitions. What constitutes success in the inaugural season of MLC? We’re in it for the long run, and this season is about showing people we can pull it off, according to Geale. It will start to become evident over the course of the following 2.5 weeks whether or not cricket can realize his American dream.
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