The first of a four-part series, majorleaguecricket.com has selected its best domestic XI from the 2021 Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship presented by Sling TV. Future XIs to be revealed will include a Youth XI, Playoffs XI and Overall Season XI.
Harpreet Singh (SoCal Lashings)
Matches: 9 | Runs: 365 | Average: 40.56 | Strike Rate: 159.39 | Highest Score: 118 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 3
In a tough season for the SoCal Lashings, Harpreet Singh provided a shining light at the top of the order in his nine games. He saved his best for the final weekend of the season, smashing an incredible 118 off only 53 deliveries to guide his team to victory against their cross-town rivals, the Hollywood Master Blasters. He also scored two fifties in as many appearances against the division topping Golden State Grizzlies, proving he was able to match it with the best in the league.
Ryan Scott (Michigan Cricket Stars)
M: 14 | Runs: 446 | Ave: 34.31 | SR: 181.30 | HS: 118 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 1
One of the players to put his name in lights on the national stage during this year’s MiLC, Ryan Scott took the league by storm being the only player to score multiple centuries. It was a brilliant 118 off only 48 deliveries against a Houston Hurricanes attack featuring Ali Khan, Karthik Gattepalli and Willem Ludick that caught the attention of most, smacking 13 sixes along the way. Scott finished the season with an incredible 38 sixes to lead the Pacific Conference.
Xavier Marshall (New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers)
M: 15 | Runs: 542 | Ave: 41.69 | SR: 147.28 | HS: 105 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 4
We saw the best of Xavier Marshall during the 2021 MiLC Championship, with the evergreen batsman often playing a lone hand for the New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers. The highlight of Marshall’s season came against the New England Eagles in Round 6, smashing an incredible 105 off only 50 deliveries. Marshall finished with the most sixes across both conferences, clearing the rope a remarkable 47 times throughout his campaign.
Jaskaran Malhotra (Morrisville Cardinals)
M: 12 | Runs: 319 | Ave: 39.88 | SR: 178.21 | HS: 90 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2
Before he made headlines globally with his historic performance against Papua New Guinea, Jaskaran Malhotra already had bowlers quaking in their boots during his time with the Morrisville Cardinals. He was unstoppable in Round 5 against the Orlando, scoring an unbeaten 90 off only 35 deliveries in chasing down the Galaxy’s total of 104 in just 9.2 overs. Malhotra finished the season with a strike rate of 178.21, leading the Atlantic Conference.
Zain Sayed (Atlanta Param Veers)
M: 11 | Runs: 467 | Ave: 58.38 | SR: 163.29 | HS: 111 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 1
The right-handed top order batsman from the Atlanta Param Veers had a break-out season in 2021. August 22 was a day to remember for Sayed, scoring an unbeaten 111 off only 50 deliveries in the morning before backing up with 49 not out in the afternoon match, with rain being the only factor that could stop him. He followed-up these performances with a number of notable contributions for the Param Veers throughout the rest of the season, placing him at the top of the run scoring charts in the Southern Division.
Sanjay Krishnamurthi (East Bay Blazers)
M: 10 | Runs: 215 | Ave: 43.00 | SR: 153.57 | HS: 63 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2
Wkts: 16 | Ave: 11.75 | Econ: 5.37 | BBI: 4/12
The fortunes of the East Bay Blazers season closely followed the path of Krishnamurthi’s performances, with his call-up for USA national team duty coinciding with a slide that saw them miss out on the playoffs. The 18-year-old reinforced his status as one of the brightest young prospects in USA Cricket, with a swashbuckling 63 off just 33 balls against the Hollywood Master Blasters – giving him one of three player of the match performances throughout the campaign. He was also a threat with the ball in hand, taking 16 wickets at an average of just 11.75, and conceding only 5.37 runs per over.
Marty Kain (San Diego Surf Riders)
M: 14 | Runs: 319 | Ave: 31.90 | SR: 125.10 | HS: 79 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2
Wkts: 10 | Ave: 19.80 | Econ: 5.66 | BBI: 4/14
The creative left-hander from San Diego started the tournament on a mission with the bat in hand, switch-hitting and ramping his way to an average of 98.5 through the first three rounds before his output tailed off in the back-half of the season. His left-arm spin was highly effective through the second half of the Surf Riders’ campaign, with the highlight being a match-winning 4/12 against the Hollywood Master Blasters in Round 7. Kain led from the front in a disappointing campaign for the Surf Riders, collecting two player of the match awards.
Neeraj Goel (Golden State Grizzlies)
M: 17 | Wkts: 23 | Ave: 15.65 | Econ: 5.81 | BBI: 4/15 | SR: 16.2 | 4WI: 3
Neeraj Goel’s stocks continued to rise during the 2021 MiLC tournament, building on his impressive performances over the past 18 months. A consistent wicket-taker with the new ball for the Golden State Grizzlies, the highlight of his campaign was a hat-trick against the St Louis Americans in Round 6 where he also claimed the player of the match award.
Rusty Theron (East Bay Blazers)
M: 12 | Wkts: 15 | Ave: 14.60 | Econ: 5.24 | BBI: 3/9 | SR: 16.7 | 4WI: 0
Rusty Theron reminded everyone of his quality during an injury interrupted campaign for the East Bay Blazers. He proved to be a handful with the new ball in the early stages of the season, collecting consecutive three-wicket hauls in the early stages of the season. Whilst an ankle injury impacted him through the second half of the season, Theron remains one of the premier new-ball bowlers in the country in the shortest format.
Damion Jacobs (Empire State Titans)
M: 15 | Wkts: 32 | Ave: 12.34 | Econ: 6.39 | BBI: 5/16 | SR: 11.6 | 4WI: 1
Jacobs was unstoppable for the Empire State Titans during the 2021 season, leading the tournament in wickets and striking less than every two overs. His leg-spin was a key factor in the Empire State Titans ride to the playoffs, taking three wickets or more on four occasions in his team’s run of seven consecutive wins through the middle of the season. The highlight was his five-wicket haul against the Manhattan Yorkers at Church Street Park in Round 6, where he ripped through the middle order on his way to 5/16 off three overs.
Vatsal Vaghela (Golden State Grizzlies)
M: 17 | Wkts: 29 | Ave: 11.41 | Econ: 5.49 | BBI: 4/13 | SR: 12.5 | 4WI: 1
The breakout story of the tournament, Vatsal Vaghela was one of the key ingredients that led the Golden State Grizzlies to the National Finals in Morrisville. The young left-arm spinner from the Bay Area was unstoppable in the early stages of the season, collecting 16 wickets in his first six games, including a player of the match performance of 4/13 in the season opener against the Seattle Thunderbolts. Nobody had more wickets in the Pacific Conference during the 2021 season, with Vaghela putting his name firmly up in lights for higher honors.
12th Man: Trinson Carmichael (Empire State Titans)
M: 18 | Wkts: 21 | Ave: 12.62 | Econ: 4.91 | BBI: 3/9 | SR: 15.4 | 4WI: 0
The wily left-arm spinner from the Empire State Titans was unhittable this season, returning an economy of just 4.91 runs per over and picking up 21 wickets along the way. These numbers are made even more remarkable by the fact that Carmichael opened the bowling for the Titans in 14 matches, bowling the bulk of his overs in the Powerplay.