Major League Cricket explained: Everything you need to know about cricket’s latest T20 league

The inaugural edition of Major League Cricket is scheduled to get underway on Thursday, July 13.

Texas Super Kings and the Los Angeles Knight Riders are set to lock horns in the opening game of the tournament on Friday, July 14 at the Grand Prairie Stadium. Church Street Park is the other venue in the championship. 

The final of the Major League Cricket will take place on Sunday, July 30. 15 matches will take place in the league stage followed by three matches in the playoffs. Los Angeles Knight Riders, MI New York, San Francisco Unicorns, Seattle Orcas, Texas Super Kings and Washington Freedom are the six teams taking part in the Major League Cricket 2023. 

The draft for the tournament took place on March 19 at the NASA Space Center in Houston. Four out of six teams in Major League Cricket have owners from the Indian Premier League (IPL). Kolkata Knight Riders is the owner of the Los Angeles Knight Riders. 

Read: Who will win Ashes 2023?

Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are owners of the Texas Super Kings and MI New York respectively. Delhi Capitals is the owner of Seattle Orcas. The Capitals will run the team with Satya Nadella, the chief executive officer of Microsoft.

The other investors of Seattle Orcas are Soma Somasegar, the managing director of Madrona Ventures, Samir Bodas, the co-founder and CEO, Icertis, Ashok Krishnamurthi, the managing partner of GreatPoint Ventures, and Sanjay Parthasarathi, the former senior executive at Microsoft and Avalara. 

The Washington Freedom franchise is owned by Sanjay Govil, a local investor from the USA. Govil has a tie-up with New South Wales Cricket to help the team develop a squad and put up a cricketing structure in place. 

The San Francisco Unicorns are owned by Anand Rajaraman, Venky Harinarayan and Cricket Victoria. The matches of Major League Cricket will start in India at 2:00 am, 3:00 am and 6:00 am 

All you need to know: Major League Cricket 2023

Where will the matches of MLC be telecasted and live streamed 

Viacom18 bagged the rights for the upcoming edition of Major League Cricket. Sports 18 will telecast all the matches of the tournament. The live streaming of the games will be available on Jio Cinemas.

All the squads of the Major League Cricket 2023 

Los Angeles Knight Riders

Sunil Narine has been named as the skipper of the Los Angeles Knight Riders in the upcoming Major League Cricket (MLC). Narine has been a part of a number of Knights franchises, including Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the inaugural International League T20 in the UAE. 

Narine was also the skipper of ADKR in the ILT20, although his team managed to win only a single game. Andre Russell is another cricketer, who has played alongside Narine for the number of Knight Riders’ teams. 

Jason Roy and Lockie Ferguson recently played for KKR in the IPL and they will now be plying their trade in the USA. Unmukt Chand, who is now a part of the USA setup, is also a part of the Los Angeles Knight Riders in Major League Cricket. Back in 2012, Chand guided India U19 to glory in the World Cup on Australian soil. 

Chand also played for the Delhi Capitals (DC) and Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL. LAKR also has Rilee Rossouw and Martin Guptill, two of the most powerful strikers of the cricket ball. Adam Zampa is also a valuable edition. 

Gajanand Singh recently hit a hundred against the West Indies in the World Cup Qualifiers. Ali, Khan, Jaskaran Malhotra are some of the other international names. 

Squad 

Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Jason Roy, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Zampa, Rilee Rossouw, Spencer Johnson, Ali Khan, Unmukt Chand, Jaskaran Malhotra, Nitish Kumar, Corne Dry, Ali Sheikh, Saif Badar, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Bhaskar Yadram, Gajanand Singh

Also Read: Rohit Sharma Centuries | List of All Rohit Sharma ODI, Test, T20I and IPL Centuries

MI New York

Kieron Pollard, the former West Indies skipper, will lead MI New York in Major League Cricket 2023. The veteran acted as a vice-captain for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and also led them in Rohit Sharma’s absence. Pollard was also the skipper of the MI Emirates in the ILT20 2022. 

Moreover, Pollard is also the skipper of Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL. Rashid Khan plays for Gujarat Titans in the IPL, but otherwise, has been a part of a number of MI teams. Apart from captaining MI Cape Town in the inaugural SA20, he also played a few games for MI Emirates in the ILT20. 

Tim David, Dewald Brevis and Jason Behrenorff played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. They will now be donning the MI jersey in the inaugural Major League Cricket. Apart from Behrendorff, the team also has potent fast bowlers in Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult and David Wiese. 

Nicholas Pooran has been a prolific cricketer in the T20 format around the world and the focus will be on him as well. Although West Indies failed to make their way into the World Cup 2023, Pooran grabbed the limelight by hitting two hundreds, one of which against the Netherlands came in a losing cause. 

USA skipper Monank Patel is a part of the squad as well. Kyle Phillip, who was recently banned from bowling in international cricket due to a suspected bowling action, will play for MI New York in Major League Cricket 2023. 

Squad 

Kieron Pollard, Trent Boult, Rashid Khan, Tim David, Dewald Brevis, David Wiese, Kagiso Rabada, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Behrendorff, Steven Taylor, Hammad Azam, Ehsan Adil, Nosthush Kenjige, Monank Patel, Sarbjeet Ladda, Shayan Jahangir, Kyle Phillip, Saideep Ganesh, Jasdeep Singh

San Francisco Unicorns

Former Australian skipper Aaron Finch has been named the skipper of San Francisco Unicorns in the upcoming Major League Cricket. Finch has played a lot of T20 cricket around the world and was also the skipper of the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League (BBL) before Nic Maddinson took over. 

Marcus Stoinis had a stupendous campaign while playing for the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL. The Australian all-rounder will now be looking forward to carrying his form in Major League Cricket. Corey Anderson, a former New Zealand all-rounder, is also a part of the squad. 

Anderson also played for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL. Lungi Ngidi and Liam Plunkett are the fast bowlers in the squad. They also have Sri Lanka’s Amila Aponso in their ranks.

Squad

Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Lungi Ngidi, Corey Anderson, Liam Plunkett, Tajinder Singh, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Carmi Le Roux, Brody Couch, David White, Smit Patel, Sanjay Krishnamurthi, Amila Aponso

Seattle Orcas

Seattle Orcas are yet to officially announce their skipper for the upcoming Major League Cricket. But they have quite a few players, who have the experience of captaining top teams. Dasun Shanaka has captained Sri Lanka in limited-overs cricket for quite some time. 

Quinton de Kock captained South Africa previously and has a truckload of experience under his belt. Wayne Parnell captained the Pretoria Capitals in the inaugural edition of the SA20.

The team also has Sikandar Raza, who has been among the finest all-rounders in world cricket over the last 12 months or so. Raza recently smashed the fastest hundred by a Zimbabwean batter in ODIs off 54 balls, breaking a record created by Sean Williams only two days ago. 

READ: Sachin Tendulkar centuries

Raza also played for the Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2023 and Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the IPL 2023. Raza has been equally effective with both bat and ball, having played plenty of match-winning hands. 

Former Indian cricketer, Harmeet Singh, who also played for the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, is a part of the Orcas in Major League Cricket. Aaron Jones recently played for the USA in the World Cup Qualifiers. Former Sri Lankan cricketer Shehan Jayasuriya is also a part of the Orcas. 

Squad

Quinton de Kock, Wayne Parnell, Dasun Shanaka, Sikandar Raza, Harmeet Singh, Shehan Jayasuriya, Shubham Ranjane, Cameron Gannon, Aaron Jones, Nauman Anwar, Phani Simhadri, Angelo Perera, Matthew Tromp, Nisarg Patel

Texas Super Kings

Faf du Plessis has been named as the skipper of the Texas Super Kings for the 2023 edition of Major League Cricket. He played for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL before moving to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). While he did not get to lead CSK, he is the current skipper of RCB, previously led by Virat Kohli

Du Plessis was also the skipper of the Joburg Super Kings in the inaugural SA20 and also hit a hundred for them. Devon Conway was among the leading run-scorers for CSK in IPL 2023 and he is now set to weave his magic in the MLC. 

Dwayne Bravo, who retired from IPL cricket and is currently the bowling coach for the Chennai Super Kings, is also a part of the Super Kings in the MLC. Ambati Rayudu was a part of the squad, but has withdrawn from the tournament due to personal reasons. 

David Miller adds a lot of firepower in their middle order. Former Pakistan batter Sami Aslam, who made a move to the USA, is also a part of the squad. The team also has the likes of Gerald Coetzee, Daniel Sams, Rusty Theron and Mitchell Santner. 

Squad

Devon Conway, Mitchell Santner, Daniel Sams, David Miller, Gerald Coetzee, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayudu, Rusty Theron, Calvin Savage, Lahiru Milantha, Milind Kumar, Sami Aslam, Cameron Stevenson, Cody Chetty, Zia Shahzad, Saiteja Mukkamalla, Mohammad Mohsin

Washington Freedom

Washington Freedom will be captained by Moises Henriques, who has also led Sydney Sixers in the BBL. Josh Philippe, Henriques’s teammate in the Sixers, should open the batting. New Zealand wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips is also a powerful striker of the cricket ball. Ben Dwarshuis, who also plays for the Sixers, is a part of the squad as well. 

Wanindu Hasaranga played for RCB in IPL 2023 and also finished as the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup Qualifiers. He also picked up three five-wicket hauls in a row, equalling Waqar Younis’s record. He also played some handy cameos with the bat in hand. 

Anrich Nortje can rattle the best of batters with his sheer pace and he should lead the bowling attack for Washington Freedom. Marco Jansen, Adam Milne, and Saurabh Netravalkar are some of the other major names in the squad. 

Squad

Anrich Nortje, Wanindu Hasaranga, Marco Jansen, Glenn Phillips, Adam Milne, Moises Henriques, Josh Philippe, Andries Gous, Mukhtar Ahmed, Obus Pienaar, Saurabh Netravalkar, Saad Ali, Dane Piedt, Sujith Gowda, Justin Dill, Akhilesh Bodugum, Ben Dwarshuis, Usman Rafiq

Major League Cricket
Photo by Icon Sport

Here is the full schedule of Major League Cricket 2023 

Grand Prairie Stadium

*all times Central Time

Thursday, July 13: Texas Super Kings v Los Angeles Knight Riders, 7:30pm
Friday, July 14: MI New York v San Francisco Unicorns, 3:30pm
Friday, July 14: Seattle Orcas v Washington Freedom, 7:30pm
Saturday, July 15: San Francisco Unicorns v Seattle Orcas, 7:30pm
Sunday, July 16: Texas Super Kings v Washington Freedom, 3:30pm
Sunday July 16: Los Angeles Knight Riders v MI New York, 7:30pm
Monday, July 17: Texas Super Kings v MI New York, 7:30pm
Tuesday July 18: Los Angeles Knight Riders v San Francisco Unicorns, 7:30pm

Church Street Park

*all times Eastern Time

Thursday, July 20: Washington Freedom v Los Angeles Knight Riders, 5:30pm
Friday, July 21: Seattle Orcas v Texas Super Kings, 5:30pm
Saturday, July 22: Washington Freedom v San Francisco Unicorns, 5:30pm
Sunday, July 23: Los Angeles Knight Riders v Seattle Orcas, 1:30pm
Sunday, July 23: MI New York v Washington Freedom, 5:30pm
Monday, July 24: San Francisco Unicorns v Texas Super Kings, 5:30pm
Tuesday, July 25: MI New York v Seattle Orcas, 5:30pm

Grand Prairie Stadium

*all times Central Time

Thursday, July 27: Eliminator – Seed three v Seed four, 3:30pm
Thursday, July 27: Qualifier – Seed one v Seed two, 7:30pm
Friday, July 28: Challenger – Loser Qualifier v Winner Eliminator, 7:30pm
Sunday, July 30: Championship – Winner Qualifier v Winner Challenger, 7:30pm