USA Cricket has unveiled plans to create a Minor League Cricket Twenty20 tournament this summer, with the intention of establishing a fully professional Major League Cricket competition in the future.
Developed in collaboration with the governing body’s commercial partner American Cricket Enterprises (ACE), Minor League Cricket is the first-ever nationwide T20 tournament to be played in the United States.
It will be a 22-team city-based tournament, including teams from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Michigan, Chicago/St Louis, Boston, New York/New Jersey, Morrisville (North Carolina), Washington DC, Atlanta, and Florida.
There will be a nine-week season, comprising 170 matches played regionally, culminating in a national final. Semi-professional and professional cricketers will take part alongside the best domestic and under-21 cricketers across the US.
Regular season games and playoff matches will be live streamed – though it has not been specified where – and the playoffs will be broadcast live on US subscription sports channel Willow TV. USA Cricket, meanwhile, is actively searching for Minor League Cricket team owners. Prize money is expected.
“It is extremely exciting for all of us who are involved in it and we collectively feel like this is a game-changing moment for domestic cricket in the USA,” said USA Cricket chief executive Iain Higgins.
USA Cricket was officially sanctioned by the International Cricket Council in January 2019. It was established in 2017 following the expulsion of its troubled predecessor, the USA Cricket Association (USACA).