A new era in American cricket launches in Houston tonight, when six teams set to compete in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket (MLC) this summer will select their rosters for the historic competition. Space Center Houston, located at the NASA Johnson Space Center, will provide an iconic venue and backdrop for the league’s first-ever draft. The draft selections will begin at 7:30 p.m. CST.
The league also unveiled a fresh brand look, with a new logo released today.
Fans will be able to follow the draft live via a special show to be broadcast globally on the MLC Network YouTube channel and ESPN Cricinfo homepage. In India, the draft broadcast will be carried on Sports18 – 1 on live television, with JioCinema the digital home for the show. Pakistan’s A Sports TV will also carry the broadcast.
Following a randomized order draw held March 13 at the Westin Oaks Houston in front of team representatives, the Seattle Orcas hold the first pick for the Domestic Player Draft. The Washington Freedom picks second followed by New York, the San Francisco Unicorns, the Los Angeles Knight Riders and Texas. Teams will select nine domestic players to form the backbone of their rosters.
The draft will be conducted in a “snake order” format, meaning the team that picks last in the first round will get the first pick in the second round. The draft will last nine rounds. No trading of picks is allowed. Each team has three minutes to make their selections in rounds one to five and two minutes in rounds six to nine. The ninth round will consist of a rookie player selection (Under-23).
Following the conclusion of the first half of the Minor League Cricket (MiLC) season, a further round of the draft will take place in early July allowing teams to select one additional player based on performances throughout the MiLC season. That player will be added to the full team roster. An additional two U-23 players serving in development roles for each squad will also be selected to provide further opportunities for young players to rub shoulders with some of the world’s best T20 cricketers and coaching staff.
The league’s historic opening match will take place on July 13, 2023, at the newly-constructed Major League Cricket venue, Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie, TX. The 2023 season will feature 19 matches to be played over 18 days, building up to the first-ever MLC championship final to take place on July 30, 2023. More information on the MLC schedule and broadcast details will be announced later.