In a historic event for cricket in the United States, the Texas Super Kings, the first professional cricket team in Texas, unveiled their team name, coach, and roster a day after the inaugural Major League Cricket (MLC) draft held in Houston on March 19th. The league consists of six teams representing Texas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
The Texas Super Kings announced a partnership with Indian Premier League franchise, Chennai Super Kings, which will provide operational expertise and support in their pursuit of championships. Former New Zealand national cricket team captain Stephen Fleming will coach the team. The roster includes top domestic cricketers such as Rusty Theron, Calvin Savage, Lahiru Milantha, and Milind Kumar.
Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen attended the press conference and said, “Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world behind soccer. The new Major League Cricket League has major well-funded backers who are willing to make the necessary investments to see it grow over the next 20 years, and Grand Prairie is on the ground floor.”
Anurag Jain and Ross Perot Jr. are among the investors who participated in a $44 million funding round to help MLC build facilities across the country. Jain, co-owner of the MLC Texas Super Kings, expressed excitement about introducing cricket to new fans in the US.
The MLC inaugural season kicks off on July 13, 2023, at the first professional cricket stadium in the U.S., Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie, Texas. The season will feature 19 matches over 18 days, culminating in the first-ever MLC championship final on July 30, 2023. The stadium, which will have a capacity of 7,200 with room for expansion, is expected to host matches at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies.
The arrival of the Texas Super Kings and Major League Cricket in Grand Prairie is expected to provide a significant boost to the local community. In addition to fostering a love for the sport, the establishment of the professional cricket team will have numerous positive economic and social impacts on the area.
The construction and ongoing operation of Grand Prairie Stadium will generate employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly, as local businesses benefit from the influx of cricket enthusiasts. Local hotels, restaurants, and shops can anticipate increased foot traffic and spending during match days and other cricket-related events.
The partnership between Texas Super Kings and Chennai Super Kings will also facilitate cross-cultural exchanges between the two teams, further enriching the community’s cultural landscape. This collaboration could lead to the sharing of ideas, techniques, and best practices, which will ultimately help develop a stronger and more competitive team.
Furthermore, the MLC’s presence in Grand Prairie has the potential to inspire young, aspiring athletes in the area to pursue cricket as a sport. With increased exposure and access to professional cricket, children and teenagers will have the opportunity to develop their skills and potentially represent their city and country in future cricket competitions.
Overall, the establishment of the Texas Super Kings in Grand Prairie promises to bring numerous benefits to the community. As Mayor Ron Jensen said, Grand Prairie is on the ground floor of a major sporting initiative with well-funded backers committed to its growth. The city is poised to become a key player in the development of cricket in the United States, providing local residents with a unique source of pride and a chance to be part of history.