Minor League Cricket (MiLC) is delighted to announce the winners of a number of individual awards following the conclusion of the Franchise Exhibition Matches that were staged throughout the United States over six weekends during September and October.
These matches would not have been possible without the commitment of players, all 24 team owners, and the support of the wider USA Cricket community. Both MiLC and USA Cricket want to thank all stakeholders involved from across the cricketing community for their contributions in delivering these matches safely and successfully, with more T20 games completed than ever before at this level in the United States.
Franchise Exhibition Match Summary
The Franchise Exhibition Matches saw the very best amateur cricketers across the United States, as well as 36 First-Class and international players, produce competitive and highly entertaining cricket.
This ambitious project broke new ground for American cricket – 51 matches were played across 17 different venues, with 15,593 runs scored and 657 wickets taken, with matches covered on www.majorleaguecricket.com. Of the more than 2,400 players who originally registered for the MiLC Draft, 364 players were selected to make up 18 squads and 312 players took the field in at least one match.
Testament to the competitive nature was the closeness of a number of matches. In total, there were 14 final over finishes, 2 final ball finishes and 2 tied matches which led to super overs. Nine centuries were scored, along with 4 five wicket hauls and even the remarkable feat of 6 consecutive sixes in an over from Chandrapaul Hemraj.
A key objective of Minor League Cricket is to provide young talent an opportunity to develop and showcase their talent, which was accomplished with 90 players aged 21 and under selected as part of MiLC squads in 2020. Seventy-one of those players took the field in an average of 3 matches, including a host of breakout performances that suggest the future of USA Cricket is in safe hands.
MiLC is delighted to announce the winners of a number of individual awards in recognition of notable performances that were seen throughout the league in 2020.
The MVP of each conference will receive a $1,000 prize, whilst the Best Batsman & Best Bowler in each conference will receive $500 rewards, respectively. The following players produced consistent and standout performances across the Exhibition Matches:
East Bay Blazers all-rounder Sanjay Krishnamurthi edged out some high-quality competition to take home the overall MVP award for the 2020 Franchise Exhibition Matches, along with the associated $4,000 prize. Sanjay, who has been supported by the Major League Academy Network in the Bay Area, was one of the leading run scorers in the Western Conference and scored 264 runs in 8 matches at an average of 88.00, picking up 4 wickets and two man-of-the-match performances. At just 17 years of age, this is a significant achievement given the competitive nature of these matches, and he has certainly announced himself as a name to watch out for in the future.
Inaugural Season of Minor League Cricket in 2021
Having successfully developed a nationwide 24 team competition structure, the focus now turns to taking the learnings from the Franchise Exhibition Matches and building on this platform ahead of the inaugural season of Minor League Cricket in 2021.
Planning is well underway for the 2021 season, with the prospect of more teams being added and a full home and away season culminating in Conference and National Playoffs. The inaugural season of Minor League Cricket is set to commence next year in Spring 2021.
Justin Geale of American Cricket Enterprises and Tournament Director of Minor League Cricket was pleased with everyone’s efforts in a difficult year, “We are really delighted with the outcome despite the challenges the country is experiencing at the moment. We are thankful to all of the owners, players, the Minor League Governing Council (including its Chair, Atul Rai, and other members), as well as the officials and volunteers who went above and beyond to ensure we were able to get cricket played safely across the country. The reaction and interest from the community has been hugely positive, and with all the learnings gleaned from this year, we strongly believe the format and structure is going to be a success. We look forward to having the inaugural season of Minor League Cricket in 2021 and building upon the platform we created this year.”
USA Cricket Chief Executive, Iain Higgins commented, “USA Cricket is very pleased with the results of Minor League Cricket in 2020, especially given all of the challenges that our partners at ACE have had to navigate through the COVID pandemic. To get the inaugural Draft completed, team owners appointed and more than 50 games safely played across a wide number of jurisdictions has been a fantastic effort. On behalf of USA Cricket, our thanks go to everyone involved both at MiLC and the broader cricket community for embracing this important concept. The quality of cricket was very strong, and the performances from the younger generation of players across all of the teams bodes extremely well for the future.”
More on Minor League Cricket can be found here: https://www.majorleaguecricket.com/minorleaguecricket.