Major League Cricket
Major League Cricket, or MLC, is a New York based company dedicated to running a professional cricket competition within the United States, as well as developing and promoting the sport to raise its profile in North America. MLC has not been recognised by the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA), and thus has no official status within the recognised international structure of cricket.
MLC formed in New Jersey in 2000, with the explicit goals of developing grassroots support for young cricketers in the U.S. and leading up to professional competitiveness at the international level. During its early years, MLC was stifled from achieving much within the organisation of cricket by USACA. However, with the increasing disruption to U.S. cricket administration caused by political turmoil within USACA, the overall structure of U.S. cricket began to break down, allowing MLC to step into the fray and begin organising its own events.
With the collapse of the ambitious Pro Cricket league following its maiden, and only, season in 2004, MLC became a major player in the complex political situation in which American cricket found itself. In February 2006, MLC approached the International Cricket Council with a formal request to recognise it as the official governing body of cricket in the USA, in preference to USACA. The request was eventually turned down by the ICC.
On June 7, 2005, MLC announced an under-15 tournament in Chicago, to be played that August, as part of its program of youth cricket development. Italian sporting goods manufacturer L-SPORTO sponsored the competition. However, in July the tournament was first moved to New Jersey, and then cancelled, with MLC citing "logistical problems" as the reason. The USA Cricket Academy headed by Ashok Patel, and Major League Cricket, both based in New Jersey also formed an alliance to develop a New jersey under 13 tournament.
Sir Clive Lloyd Cup
MLC announced a new National Interstate Cricket Cup tournament, to be held in November 2005 in Broward County, Florida, under the patronage of former West Indies captain and International Cricket Council match referee Sir Clive Lloyd. Due to Hurricane Wilma, it was postponed to the end of November, eventually being played between 30 November and 4 December.
Teams representing the states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington played in the inaugural tournament. The tournament will include two divisions, one for senior players, and one for players under the age of 25. Former West Indian opening batsman Desmond Haynes will be involved with coaching national U.S. youth and senior teams selected during the tournament.
Teams playing in the Cup may include one international player.
United States Cricket Development Program
In July 2005, MLC announced an ambitious 10-year program for the development of domestic competition and international level cricket skills within the U.S. The program developed by Bernard Cameron and expanded by former 1st class players Robert Smith and Desmond Haynes ,includes plans to establish National Cricket Centres to encourage local development, a National Cricket Academy, and certification of cricket coaches and umpires. MLC has stated the goal of preparing a U.S. team capable of qualifying for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
Another part of the development program is the establishment of world class cricket playing facilities in the U.S. To this end, MLC met with The Walt Disney Company and convinced them to pledge over 30 acres (12 ha) of land in Florida for the construction of a custom multi-function cricket and soccer stadium.
Professional Twenty20 League
In September 2005, MLC announced plans to launch a professional eight team Twenty20 league in the U.S., with a first season to have been played in 2007. Players for the tournament were to have been recruited from the state-based teams represented in the Sir Clive Lloyd Cup.
- Williamson, Martin (October 6, 2005). "Living the American dream". Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- Williamson, Martin (February 17, 2006). "Cameron approaches ICC in a bid to oust USACA". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- Das, Deb K. (February 22, 2006). "Mixed response to MLC initiative". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
The announcement that Major League Cricket (MLC) had approached ICC for authorization to replace the USA Cricket Association (USACA) as the official body for US cricket has produced mixed reactions among US cricketers - mostly positive, but tinged with a few notes of surprise and doubt.
- Cricinfo staff (March 22, 2006). "Cameron demands explanation from ICC". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
Bernard Cameron, the head of Major League Cricket, the organisation that recently wrote to the ICC asking to take control of US cricket, has reacted with frustration to the decision of the ICC executive to again recognise the USA Cricket Association as the body responsible for running the game in the country.
- Das, Deb K. (January 1, 2007). "Major League Cricket explains its silence". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
USACA need to sort out own problems
- Das, Deb K. (December 7, 2005). "The start of a new era". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-07-24.