HOUSTON, TEXAS (March 19, 2023) – A new era in American cricket will launch in Houston on Monday (Sunday – CST), when six teams set to compete in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket (MLC) this summer will select their rosters for the historic competition. The first-ever draft will be held at the Space Center Houston, located at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Multiple Indian Premier League team owners have invested in or partnered with Major League Cricket teams, including the Kolkata Knight Riders (Los Angeles), Chennai Super Kings (Texas) and Delhi Capitals (Seattle).
Cricket fans in India can catch the MLC draft on Sports18 – 1 on live television, with JioCinema the digital home for the show. Fans will also be able to follow the draft live via a special show to be broadcast globally on the MLC Network YouTube channel and ESPN Cricinfo homepage. Pakistan’s A Sports TV will also carry the broadcast.
The draft selections will begin at 6:00 am IST (7:30 pm CST), following a red carpet hour with photo and interview availability with players starting at 4:45 am IST (6:15 pm CST). Photos and video from the draft will be available at this link during and after the event. Media wishing to attend the draft should email [email protected] with names and media affiliation.
Several MLC teams have unveiled their team names and logo ahead of the draft, along with high-performance partnerships with some of the world’s leading cricket entities. Select overseas star players for each time will also be announced soon.
Following a randomized order draw held on March 13 at the Westin Oaks Houston in front of team representatives, the Seattle Orcas hold the first pick for the Domestic Player Draft. The Washington Freedom picks second followed by the New York franchise, the San Francisco Unicorns, the Los Angeles Knight Riders and the Texas MLC Team (to be named later). Teams will select nine domestic players to form the backbone of their rosters.
The draft will be conducted in a “snake order” format, meaning the team that picks last in the first round will get the first pick in the second round. The draft will last nine rounds. No trading of picks is allowed. Each team has three minutes to make their selections in rounds one to five and two minutes in rounds six to nine. The ninth round will consist of a rookie player selection (Under-23). If a U-23 player is selected by a team in rounds one to eight, that team must still select a U-23 player in the ninth round.
Following the conclusion of the first half of the Minor League Cricket (MiLC) season, a further round of the draft will take place in early July allowing teams to select one additional player based on performances throughout the MiLC season. That player will be added to the full team roster. An additional two U-23 players serving in development roles for each squad will also be selected to provide further opportunities for young players to rub shoulders with some of the world’s best T20 cricketers and coaching staff.
The league’s historic opening match will take place on July 13, 2023, at the newly-constructed Major League Cricket venue, Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie, Texas. The 2023 season will feature 19 matches to be played over 18 days, building up to the first-ever MLC championship final to take place on July 30, 2023. More information on the MLC schedule and broadcast details will be announced later.