Starting July 31, the first Minor League Cricket (MLC) Championship will include over 200 matches spread over ten weekends. The Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship is sponsored by SLING TV. It was originally set to begin in the summertime of 2020, but the official start date was pushed out to 2021, and instead, a short exhibition session was held.
The championship will include more than 400 players. All these 400 players will represent 27 T-20 teams from 21 locations across the country. This is the thrilling T20 (Shortest format of Cricket) matches championship and it is going to be the most extensive tournament in American cricket history. This will be the largest cricket competition ever held in the United States. On October 2-3, the MLC Finals Weekend will conclude 10 weekends of competitive play in each category. The final weekend’s location will be revealed at a later date.
The tournament’s entire prize pool is $250,000. This is the highest reward money in American cricket history. Minor League Cricket will employ privately held clubs, similarly Major League Cricket. The 24 teams and their owners were revealed on August 15, 2020, by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE).
The team squads have already been released, and they contain the key players in American cricket. Each squad has a mix of marquee players, domestic priority players, and a required number of U21 and U19 players. Minor League Cricket is the only national competition that confronts the finest male players against each other at the best services offered, and it’s an important element of USA Cricket’s growing domestic cricket system and infrastructure. The tournament’s main goal is to provide a platform and chance for America’s top cricketers to exhibit their talents on a national level while also helping to grow cricket in areas of the nation.
The cricket community is eagerly anticipating such a competition. Local players will have the opportunity to improve to the main leagues and the national team. In MLC, the International cricketers will be spending time with local players, which will benefit domestic players greatly. The Minor League Cricket and its 27 club owners have contributed over $4,000,000 in the championship’s preparation.
American Cricket Enterprise (ACE) will offer assistance to the US men’s and women’s teams under the Minor League Cricket (MLC) banner, with the objective of lifting Cricket America to the highest level of international competition by investing heavily in infrastructure and training.
According to USA Cricket, the sport is on the verge of seeing unparalleled development in the United States during the next ten years. Its goal is to join the International Cricket Council as a full member by 2030.
Fixed Per-Game Fees for Players
All other player costs, with the exception of the Wild Card and Marquee Players, are fixed at a certain sum based on the player categorization. This lets clubs compete fairly level, preventing wealthy owners from outbidding others for local players and stacking their squads.
Fees are listed in order of player designation:
Marquee and Wild Card Players (3 total) – secret, agreed between the players and the team
Priority Domestic Player (3 total) – $250
U21 (at least two) – $125
U19 (at least one) – $75
Domestic players (up to 9) – $125
Free Agents (up to 2) – $125, travel paid
League Format and Schedule
Due to the pandemic, teams will play two weekends of inter-divisional games inside conferences this year, an option that was not available during the exhibition season. On the first weekend of October, the Minor League Cricket Championship game will play the winners of the two conferences against each other at Church Street Park.
Here are the names of the clubs that come under four divisions:
Eastern Division Clubs:
New England Eagles, New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers Cricket Club, New Jersey Stallions, Empire State Titans, Manhattan Yorkers, The Philadelphians, DC Hawks
Western Division Clubs:
Silicon Valley Strikers, Bay Blazers, Hollywood Master Blasters, SoCal Lashings Cricket, Golden State Grizzlies, San Diego Surf Riders, Seattle Thunderbolts
Central Division Clubs:
Austin Athletics, Chicago Blasters, Chicago Catchers, Irving Mustangs, Houston Hurricanes, Michigan Cricket Stars, St. Louis Americans
Southern Division Clubs:
Atlanta Fire, Atlanta Param Veers, Fort Lauderdale Lions, Florida Beamers, Morrisville Cardinals, Orlando Galaxy