David Miller (Texas Super Kings FC/Twitter)
- Cricket finally entered the United States with the inception of Major League Cricket (MLC).
- The 19-game tournament features six teams, including three joint franchises in the Indian Premier League.
- A total of 26 South African players, along with 15 former and current Proteas players, are expected to compete in the tournament.
Not to be confused with baseball, Bazball, America’s favorite pastime, but for the rest of this month, some of the world’s best cricketers find themselves in Big Sam’s land to play in a new T20 tournament.
Major League Soccer (MLC) cricket, which features six teams competing in Dallas, Texas, and Morrisville, North Carolina, kicked off on Friday (South African time) and will run until July 30.
The teams, which will play a combined 19 games, are MI New York, Los Angeles Knight Riders, Seattle Orcas, Texas Super Kings, Washington Freedom, and San Francisco Unicorns.
Matches kick off at 22:30 (South African time) and 02:30 (South African time) with each team playing each other in one round-robin stage before the qualifiers begin.
Three of the teams are jointly owned by Indian Premier League franchises (Mumbai Indians, Knight Riders and Super Kings), while Australia’s Cricket Victoria has a high-performance partnership with the San Francisco Unicorns and New South Wales with the Washington Freedom.
There is a distinct South African flavor to the tournament with 26 South Africans represented in the MLC, 15 of which have represented the Proteas.
Gerald Coetzee (Twitter/MLC)
In the opener, the Texas Super Kings were sent to bat first with star Proteas batsman David Miller hitting 61 off 42 balls including four for the Texas Super Kings, who were sent to bat first in their 69-run win. Over the Los Angeles Knight Riders.
Miller is among seven South Africans in the Super Kings squad, including former Proteas captain Faf de Plessis, Imran Tahir and Gerald Coetzee.
Former Proteas die-hard Rusty Theron also plays for the Super Kings, but plays under the American flag after moving to the US.
The Washington Freedoms feature six South Africans, including fast Proteas basketball player Anrich Nortje, Marco Jansen, and former Proteas player Dane Piedt.
The Seattle Orcas feature four South Africans in their mix, led by captain Wayne Parnell and including experience retaining duo Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Claassen, and 18-year-old Matthew Tromp.
There are three South Africans playing for the Los Angeles Knight Riders, including Proteas hitter Riley Russo, Shadley van Schalkwyk and Korn Dry.
Lungi Ngidi fast bowler Proteas represents the San Francisco Unicorns along with David White and Carme Le Roux.
Coached by former Proteas player Robin Peterson, MI New York boasts two South African stars in fast bowler Kagisu Rabada and teenager Diewald Brevis.
South Africa in the MLC for the 2023 inaugural season:
Knight Riders – Riley Russo, Chadley Van Schalkwyck, Korn Dry
MI New York – Dewald Brevis, Peace Wednesday
Rhinos in San Francisco – David White, Carme Le Roux, Lungi Ngidi
Seattle Orcas – Wayne Parnell, Quinton D. Kock, Heinrich Klassen, Matthew Tromp, Dwayne Pretorius
Texas Super Kings – Fave Du Plessis, David Miller, Cody Shetty, Calvin Savage, Imran Tahir, Gerald Coetzee, Rusty Theron
Washington Freedom – Marco Jansen, Dane Biedt, Justin Dale, Andres Joss, Enrich Norte, Jacobus Pienaar