North Texas Continues to Bowl Over Barriers to Boost Cricket’s U.S. Popularity

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA from June 1 to June 29. The first match? USA vs. Canada, right here at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium. Here's a look at how North Texas has suddenly become a global hotbed for cricket—with two U.S. leagues, cricket entertainment venues, and more.

North Texas has led the way in introducing cricket to American audiences—and winning new fans for the sport. Last year, the region hosted Major League Cricket’s inaugural 2023 season at the transformed Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium. The venue, redesigned by Dallas architecture firm HKS, became the first premier cricket-specific venue in the U.S., solidifying a goal to bowl over fans new to the bat-and-ball game.  

While cricket has long been at most a niche sport in the U.S., that’s not the case worldwide. It’s the No. 2 most-watched sport on earth, with only soccer surpassing it at No. 1. Now Major League Cricket aims to bring the sport to a wider American audience and establish a strong cricket culture across the U.S.—along with a home base of fans for its local Texas Super Kings franchise.

ICC Men’s 2024 T20 World Cup to have opening match in Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium will be the site of the opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. [Rendering HKS-MLC]

All that global enthusiasm could catch a spark locally this summer, when the International Cricket Council’s Men’s T20 World Cup will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA from June 1 to June 29. The opening match of the tournament will take place at none other than Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, with the U.S. team playing Canada on June 1.

Three other group stage matches will be played in Grand Prairie, including Netherlands vs. Nepal on June 4, United States vs. Pakistan on June 6, and Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh on June 7.

Vijay Srinivasan, co-founder of Major League Cricket, can hardly wait for that first ball to be bowled in June.

“We know that cricket fans from across the country will be out in force on June 1 as the United States hosts Canada in the curtain-raiser for the tournament,” Srinivasan said in a statement. “The match will mark a new chapter in a rivalry dating back longer than any other in international cricket, all the way to 1844.”

“In addition, we can’t wait to welcome fans from Pakistan, the Netherlands, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh to the Lone Star State for a further three matches at Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, where many of the stars of Major League Cricket will be playing for their countries,” he added.

You can see the full ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 match schedule at You can register for a chance to buy tickets here.

Not one but two cricket leagues playing out of Dallas-Fort Worth

The National Cricket League is launching out of Dallas. [Photo: NCL]

To make the local cricket craze even hotter, a second U.S. cricket league launched out of Dallas in 2023. The National Cricket League features a Dallas team—the Dallas Wolves—and was introduced in September by officials and supporters including Mayor Eric L. Johnson and Dallas businessman Arun Agarwal, who serves as the league’s chairman and advisor.

Based in North Dallas, the National Cricket League is launching with six teams that also include the Atlanta Archers, Chicago Hurricanes, Houston Stars, Las Vegas Vipers, and Los Angeles Legends. The teams’ “sixty strikes” matches will last around 90 minutes, featuring “power hitting” and lots of scoring.

Local South Asian population helps fuel the cricket fervor

South Asians are among the world’s most passionate cricket fans, which is another reason North Texas has become a hotbed of cricket activity. For instance, Dallas-Fort Worth has one of American’s largest Indian American communities, with some 235,000 living in the region, according to census data. And more than 450,000 Indian Americans live in Texas. 

You’re likely to see many of those people swinging their own cricket bats on pitches in the region. According to the DALLAS Relocation and Newcomer Guide, Plano is home to the largest collection of cricket fields in the Southwest. And local clubs have boosted the sport in the city with a season that lasts from March until October. 

Gamified cricket entertainment in The Colony

“Scoring 6” at Sixes Social Cricket at Grandscape in The Colony. [Photo: Sixes]

Off the pitch, cricket has found other ways to stick its wicket into fan experiences in Dallas-Fort Worth. Sixes Social Cricket—a dining, drinks, and social cricket entertainment concept—swung in from London to open at Grandscape in The Colony last June. The company says it has “seamlessly blended the thrill of cricket with a lively and vibrant social atmosphere,” providing “a one-of-a-kind experience that appeals to sports fans, social butterflies, and families alike.”

$120 million MLC funding round helped get the ball rolling

The logos of U.S. Major League Cricket teams.

Texas-sized backers have been a big part of making Dallas-Fort Worth a capital metro for cricket. Two driving forces behind Major League Cricket include Anurag Jain, partner at Perot Jain and chairman of Access Healthcare, and Ross Perot Jr., chairman of the Perot Group.

Their involvement with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and others in a $120 million funding round was instrumental in bringing the league to North Texas and beyond.

One more reason why the future of sports is in North Texas

The MLC’s bid to popularize cricket in Dallas-Fort Worth has chosen fertile ground. As Dallas Innovates has written, the future of sports is in North Texas—with everything from new sports leagues to high-tech advances to startups on the edge of fitness science finding a home here.

The region has a past track record for getting leagues launched, too. In October, Dallas billionaire Clark Hunt spoke at the Venture Dallas conference about owning the Kansas City Chiefs—which began life as the Dallas Texans—as well as his family’s long history of championing football and soccer in Dallas. (Hunt is co-owner, with his brother Dan, of the FC Dallas MLS team). 

However the ball bounces—or bowls, rolls, or scores—it’s happening right here in North Texas. Cricket is just the latest to add a new accent, and a new international flair, to one of the greatest sports destinations on earth.

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