Another year and it’s another title for the Mumbai Indians franchise, but this time in the USA’s Major League Cricket. This is the second title for the MI family in the year 2023, as MI Women’s team also won the inaugural WPL trophy. 

Major League Cricket is a great initiative to promote the sport in the biggest sports market i.e., the United States of America. After the Minor League Cricket, which was the foundation of the Major League Cricket, MLC was successfully launched on the 14th of July 2023, with six teams participating in the inaugural season. 

Out of the six teams, three had parent franchises in the Indian Premier League. Texas Super Kings is owned by the Super Kings family, MI New York from the Mumbai Indians family and LA Knight Riders is owned by the Knight Riders group. The other three teams were; Washington Freedom, Seattle Orcas, and San Francisco Unicorns. 

Faf Du Plessis led Texas, Kieron Pollard captained the MI New York, Aaron Finch led the San Francisco Unicorns, Sunil Narine led the LA Knight Riders, Wayne Parnell was leading the Seatle Orcas, and Moises Henriques led the Washington Freedom Team.

Winners of the inaugural Major League Cricket

MI New York, led by Kieron Pollard, were nowhere near the playoffs after losing two of their first three games. It was the last game of the league stage that changed the fortunes of the team. 

Well, one can say that Nicholas Pooran changed the fortunes of the team. He was just impeccable throughout the tournament. His golden run continued in MLC as well. Sadly, his team won’t be featuring in the upcoming World Cup despite his exceptional performances. 

It was a tough road for MINY to get to the final when they struggled to make it to the playoffs. But MI did what MI does, and we saw a whole different team in the knockout stage. Dewald Brevis and Tim David were no less as Brevis helped MI New York perform well in the Playoffs. And then Nicky Phammered the Seattle Orcas in the Final with his knock of 137 runs off just 55 deliveries. 

Pooran became the highest scorer of the tournament, with 388 runs in just eight innings averaging nearly 65. And Trent Boult, who was also a part of this team, became the highest wicket-taker of the season with 22 wickets in just eight innings. 

Apart from these guys, MINY also had Rashid Khan, David Wiese, Kagiso Rabada and a few local players. Despite this much strength and experience in the team, MINY suffered earlier in the tournament but eventually had a fairytale ending with the Caribbean brothers adding one more trophy to the MI cabinet. 

The success of the MLC 2023

The inaugural season of the Major League Cricket was a successful stint as players from all over the world took part. Players like Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Dwayne Bravo, Devon Conway and many more were a part of this new and delightful league.

Even Glenn Maxwell believes that MLC will attract the cricketers more as they will get to travel to the USA once a year.

For the local players, like Cameron Gannon, who was named the domestic player of the tournament, it was a great opportunity to have international players in their dressing room with highly experienced support staff. 

Major League Cricket will not just take the US cricket forward but also help them grow and get recognition at the international level, and it will be no surprise if we see the USA cricket team in the next World Cup.

note– image sourced from Major League Cricket Twitter handle


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