- The most extensive cricket competition to ever take place in the United States will launch nationwide this weekend, with 24 matches to be played in eight cities
- Twenty-seven teams will compete over 10 weekends featuring 218 matches in America’s first-ever nationwide T20 Championship
- $250,000 in Prize Money being played for with more than 100 matches live streamed across Willow.TV and YouTube
Minor League Cricket (MiLC) announced today final rosters for the Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship presented by SLING TV, with games set to begin this Saturday, July 31 across the country. The competition is the most extensive to ever take place in the history of American cricket in a new dawn for the sport in the United States, with twenty-seven participating teams competing over 218 matches scheduled to take place in 21 cities nationwide.
The competition’s unprecedented scale will be demonstrated on opening weekend with 24 games held at nine different venues. In the Atlantic Conference, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Atlanta areas will host matches, while in the Pacific Conference, the Chicago, Detroit, Houston, San Jose and San Diego markets will see games take place. The final rosters and full season schedule are available at www.minorleague.cricket.
Fifteen players who have represented their countries in full member international cricket will take part, including Amila Aponso (Sri Lanka), Corey Anderson (New Zealand), Narsingh Deonarine (West Indies), Sami Aslam (Pakistan), Shehan Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) and Dane Piedt (South Africa).
The league will form a critical part of the pathway for player development for the United States National Team, with each MiLC roster featuring a minimum required number of Under 21 and Under 19 players. Over 20 American cricketers capped at Senior Level for Team USA will play in Minor League Cricket, as well as the entire roster of 14 players that were recently named to the USA Cricket Under 19 panel.
“The opening weekend of Minor League Cricket, with games featuring 27 teams taking place across six different states, will showcase the growth of cricket infrastructure nationwide thanks to the commitment and investment of so many in the American cricket community,” said Justin Geale, Tournament Director for Major League Cricket. “All 27 teams feature both experienced and emerging talent who will battle it out to become the first champion of Minor League Cricket, in what is a truly historic development for the sport of cricket in the United States.”
The Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship will feature 10 weekends of competitive play in the short-form Twenty20 format loved by cricket fans around the world, culminating in a finals weekend on Oct. 2-3. Total prize money of $250,000 for the competition represents the largest purse ever on offer in American cricket.
More than 100 matches will be streamed live, available to watch for free on Willow TV’s web or mobile apps and YouTube channel. Enhanced coverage at eight venues will feature multi-camera coverage and live announcers for multiple matches across the 10 weekends of championship play.
“The scale of ambition and vision in our partnership with Major League Cricket is beginning to bear truly tangible fruit with the start of Minor League Cricket this weekend. The benefits and developments for the wider cricket community will be multi-faceted with continued infrastructural progress and the addition of more than 200 Twenty20 matches to the calendar for American cricket,” said USA Cricket CEO Iain Higgins. “Most excitingly, the league will provide really significant opportunities and exposure for our young, homegrown cricketers to compete at a higher, nationwide level with mandatory youth spots guaranteed in all Minor League Cricket teams. Minor League Cricket provides a tremendous step forward towards achieving the vision of making cricket a mainstream sport in the United States as outlined in USA Cricket’s Foundational Plan.”
Minor League Cricket is the only nationwide tournament involving the strongest male players playing against each other at the best available facilities and forms a critical part of the evolving USA Cricket domestic cricket structure and pathway. The primary aim of the tournament is to give a platform and opportunity for the best cricketers in America to showcase their abilities at a national level and build cricket in communities across the country.
The full schedule and list of all competing 27 teams and their divisional breakdown is available at www.minorleague.cricket.