Star Australian batter Steve Smith is likely to play in the Major League Cricket (MLC) in the USA next year. As New South Wales have joined hands with Washington DC-based MLC franchise, Smith might feature in the league from its second edition. The Aussie batter cannot take part in the first edition of the tournament as Australia will tour England for the five-match Test series for the Ashes.
However, in 2024 after the T20 World Cup which is also to be hosted in the USA along with West Indies Smith will have a window to play in the league.
“We’ve been in touch with Steve about his plans and what he’s thinking,” MLC co-founder Sameer Mehta told News Corp. “What he’d love to do at some point is play cricket in the US as his schedule permits,” he added.
Mehta further said “His view was that if he could make it work and if we could make it work – I know this season, he has commitments. I don’t know what the Australian calendar is next year but I believe there is enough space for him to potentially play.” Mehta also said Smith will play an active role in the tournament in the future as he said,“Long-term … our view is that we might see a lot of him in the US.”
The batter himself had hinted at playing in MLC provided the opportunity. Smith in September last year said, “There’s obviously leagues popping up everywhere around the world now, and I think you’ll probably see more players in the back end of their career going down that route, so it’s potentially something I’ll look at in the future.”
“The US has been a market that cricket’s been trying to get into for some time. So yeah, I think it’d be interesting to see how it goes,” he added.
Notably, t he inaugural season of MLC is all set to start on the 13th of July this year in Texas and the league is estimated to be worth 174 million Australian dollars. Each of the six franchises is based in San Francisco, Dallas, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City the teams will have a $1.5 million salary cap and can secure 18 players, with a maximum of seven overseas players.