Major League Cricket is coming to Grand Prairie starting in July after the league held its first draft of domestic players for the newly named Texas Super Kings—who also have a newly named coach.
Major League Cricket is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in the U.S., and it also announced its partnership with Chennai Super Kings, an Indian Premier League franchise cricket team based in Chennai, India, who will bring operational expertise to the Texas team.
The Texas Super Kings will be led by coach Stephen Fleming, a former captain of the New Zealand national cricket team and head coach of Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings. He played in the historic first Twenty20 International of the world as captain of the New Zealand team in 2005.
The Texas Super Kings said that six MLC teams—representing Texas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.—each selected nine domestic cricketers at the draft, which was held at the Houston Space Center and telecast live across the globe.
The Texas Super Kings’ player roster features top domestic cricketers from the draft, including:
- Round 1: Rusty Theron
- Round 2: Calvin Savage
- Round 3: Lahiru Milantha
- Round 4: Milind Kumar
- Round 5: Sami Aslam
- Round 6: Cameron Stevenson
- Round 7: Cody Chetty
- Round 8: Zia Shahzad
- Round 9: Saiteja Mukkamalla
Bringing more U.S. fans to the world’s second most popular sport
Noted Dallas business leaders Anurag Jain, partner with Perot Jain and chairman of Access Healthcare, and Ross Perot Jr., chairman of the Perot Group, were among the investors in a $44 million funding round that will help the MLC build facilities across the country.
“Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world with a global fan base of around 2.5 billion followers, but there hasn’t been an opportunity for the sport to grow in the U.S.,” Jain, co-owner of the MLC Texas Super Kings, said in a statement. “We look forward to having a professional team in Texas for the passionate local cricket community to root for and to introduce the sport to new fans across the country.”
Twenty20 (also known as T20) is a fast-paced form of cricket. It’s one of the three current forms of cricket recognized by the International Cricket Council for the highest international or domestic level of the sport, according to the MLC.
The MLC inaugural season begins July 13, 2023, at the first professional cricket stadium in the U.S., Grand Prairie Stadium in Grand Prairie.
The 2023 season will feature 19 matches to be played over 18 days, leading up to the first-ever MLC championship final to take place on July 30. The stadium will have a permanent capacity of 7,200 and will feature 1,000 club and premium seats, with the ability to expand to a capacity of over 15,000 for major events.
It is expected to host matches at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, set to be co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies.
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