Major League Cricket Aims to Recruit England’s Finest Players for Future Seasons; Founders Dismiss Threat to English Cricket.
The upcoming inaugural T20 franchise tournament in the United States, set to commence on Thursday (Friday 01:30 BST), has already attracted two England World Cup winners, Liam Plunkett and Jason Roy.
Vijay Srinivasan, co-founder of Major League Cricket (MLC), explained that American sports fans have a strong desire to witness top-tier talent. He specifically mentioned the wealth of talent in England, including renowned players such as Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, and Harry Brook.
Jason Roy, an England opener, made the decision to forego his incremental white-ball deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), valued at £60,000-£70,000, to participate in MLC. Roy stands to potentially earn £150,000 during the tournament scheduled from July 13th to 31st.
Although concerns have been raised that this lucrative franchise T20 tournament, which coincides with the English summer, poses a threat to the England team and county cricket, Srinivasan dismissed the notion as “short-sighted.” He clarified that MLC does not intend to disrupt existing structures.
Srinivasan expressed MLC’s objective of attracting the world’s best players while considering their national team commitments and overall feasibility. Finding a suitable window within the global cricket calendar is crucial for securing the participation of these players.
He further highlighted the positive impact of MLC on raising the profile of cricket in the United States, believing it will contribute to the growth of the global cricket ecosystem.