After three years of a long wait, USA’s own T20 league, the Major League Cricket (MLC) has finally gotten a window. The inaugural edition of the tournament will be played in July 2023 (between July 13 and July 30) with six teams taking part in it. The announcement by the American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) further confirmed that a total of 19 games will be played among six franchise teams in a round-robin format followed by the knockout rounds.
The six franchise teams will represent the metropolitans of New York, Washington DC, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. However, the ownership structure of these franchises is yet to be finalized and as has been the case in leagues abroad, several Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise owners have shown interest in acquiring the rights of these six franchises. The franchise owners' announcement is expected in early 2023 followed by the players' draft in March.
"Next summer, the eyes of world cricket will be on the launch of Major League Cricket, with the stars of the game competing over three weeks of fast-paced T20 action," said Justin Geale, MLC Tournament Director, who has also served as a Director of Cricket Operations at the IPL. "The launch of MLC will transform American cricket and provide one of the best platforms in the sport for the world's most elite players to showcase their skills while also fast-tracking the development of domestic talent to feature in the league."
About the player availability for the inaugural edition, Cricbuzz has claimed that players from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and possibly West Indies are expected to be free of commitments in the second week of July. The report also said that two complete seasons of Minor League Cricket, a 27-team semi-professional player pathway tournament, will take place before the first edition of MLC.