A new chapter in the US Cricket history is about to be written with the inauguration of American cricket’s most expensive tournament named Minor League Cricket (MiLC). The competition was officially launched online on Wednesday. Global carmakers Toyota has been roped in as the title sponsor of the inaugural season.
Minor League Cricket will feature 27 teams to play more than 200 T20 games. Twenty-one different cities throughout the country have been chosen to host the matches. The winning prize money set at $250,000 is the largest coup in American cricket history. The huge prize money comes as a result of the 27 team owners investing over $4,000,000 for the staging of the tournament.
Matt Ozawa, Manager, Asset Management and Activation, Toyota Motor North America shared his delight at the launch of the tournament and said, “We’re honored to be a part of the first-ever Minor League Cricket season and to help support the growth of the sport as it embarks on its most extensive competition to ever take place in the United States. We look forward to joining the league, its athletes, cricket lovers and Toyota fans across the country for a historic inaugural championship season.”
The squads for all the 27 teams have already been announced and each team features a selection of marquee players, domestic players and a set number of U21 and U19 players. The squad rules are similar to the IPL. This tournament also aims to provide a platform and opportunity for the best cricketers in the country to show their talent and abilities.
Subsequently, also help the game develop in the country by expanding its reach to communities having less cricket knowledge within the country. Few of the marquee players made sure to be a part of the launch. The list included Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson, Pakistan cricketer Sami Aslam and the USA National team captain Saurabh Netravalkar.
Commenting on the growth of cricket in the country and partnership with Toyota and Sling TV, Justin Geale, Tournament Director for Major League Cricket, said, “We are delighted to partner with Toyota, a global brand committed to support the growth of American cricket. The sport is on an incredible growth trajectory domestically as we set up the launch of Minor League Cricket and adding both Toyota and SLING TV as partners show there has never been a more promising future for cricket in this country.”
Sling TV will take over the mantle for online streaming of matches throughout the tournament. As per reports, there is great optimism and expectations with respect to the tournament and organizers are really buzzing for a successful campaign ahead.
The tournament is scheduled to commence on July 31 and will feature 10 weekends of competitive and fearless cricket from all the teams involved. The finals are set to be played on October 2-3 weekend.