Cricket may generate plenty of headlines in Ireland and other parts of the world, but one country it is rarely associated with is the US. When it comes to bat-and-ball games in America, one which immediately springs to mind is the big-hitting game, baseball.
However, that may soon be about to change, as plans have been forged to bring the excitement and action of Twenty20 to the US. Forget Major League Baseball, as 2022 could be the year of Major League Cricket.
There were plenty of reports towards the end of last year about plans to create such a competition. American Cricket Enterprises published a list of Major League Cricket’s founding investors shortly before Christmas.
The media release on USACricket.org details how more than 20 experts from a range of backgrounds are involved in the venture. This includes Aditya Agarwal, the former chief technology officer at Facebook and Dropbox, and Microsoft’s chief executive officer Satya Nadella. It adds that the plan is for the T20 competition to launch next year, featuring international players from both the US and across the world. There is also the hope that it will be underpinned by efforts to develop players within the country.
Quoted in the release, Aditya Agarwal said that Major League Cricket could prove to be a “truly transformational project” for the sport in the US.
Hitting New Heights
Such plans arguably highlight just how well cricket is doing at present. The sport appears to be going from strength to strength globally and this has been highlighted by the viewing figures achieved by some of its most notable tournaments.
For example, the ICC revealed in September 2019 that the Men’s Cricket World Cup held that year was its most-watched event ever. The organization stated that the competition achieved a global cumulative average audience of 1.6 billion, with that representing a 38 percent increase from 2015. Furthermore, the CWC 2019 also had a unique broadcast audience of 706 million, a 22 percent rise from the 2015 edition.
The Indian Premier League has managed to generate some massive figures across recent years as well. In November, the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India stated that the 2020 competition was the first sports tournament to surpass 400 billion viewing minutes. The tournament also generated 31.57 million average impressions, which is viewership per minute.
With all of that in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that there are efforts to take cricket into the US. However, Major League Cricket is not the only new tournament on the way in the sport, as The Hundred is also set to launch in the UK. The official site for the event outlines how the 100-ball competition taking place this summer will see eight teams from across seven cities compete.
Another development in the world of cricket has been the growing interest in odds related to the sport. Unsurprisingly, the interest in odds has led to an increase in the number of fans betting on their favourite teams. Indeed, anyone who wants advice on how to bet on cricket can turn to sites like Asiabet for support, as it features information related to major competitions including the IPL. The brand’s dedicated page for the tournament offers team guides, advice on how to bet on the competition, and predictions. In addition, it discusses another big talking point that has emerged in cricket in recent times – fantasy cricket.
Fantasy cricket has been attracting plenty of interest in recent years, thanks to major brands operating in the space like Dream11. Its official site details how players can get involved by selecting an upcoming fixture, pulling together their best possible squad, and then competing in a range of contests to win.
An Exciting Time
When all of that is combined and considered together, it is fair to say that it is an exciting time for cricket at the moment.
The sport has generated plenty of interest all over the world for many years, but it really seems to be reaching even greater heights right now. As a result, it will be intriguing to see how Major League Cricket performs and whether it is ultimately the right moment for the sport to finally crack America.