Minor League Cricket (MiLC) announced today the 2022 Most Valuable Player awards for each of the league’s four divisions. The championship concluded this past weekend after 200 games took place over ten weekends of play, the most extensive competition in American cricket.
The championship title was claimed on Sunday by the Seattle Thunderbolts, who defeated the Atlanta Fire by 10 runs. The Thunderbolts’ star bowler Phani Simhadri picked up overall MVP tournament honors, having racked up a remarkable total of 46 wickets throughout the tournament at an impressive strike rate of 8.8 and an economy rate of 6.13.
In the Atlantic Conference, winners of the divisional awards were Bhaskar Yadram of the Manhattan Yorkers in the Eastern and Rahkeem Cornwall of the Atlanta Fire in the Southern.
Yadram, a rising young star from Guyana who has represented the West Indies at U-19 level and is centrally contracted by Major League Cricket (MLC), demonstrated his all-rounder abilities with 21 wickets and 319 runs across the season, scoring at an impressive 152.63 strike rate.
Cornwall, an experienced West Indian international all-rounder, opened the Fire batting lineup with devastating impact. The 29-year-old smashed 531 runs at a remarkable strike rate of 193.09, scoring four half-centuries, while also picking up 14 wickets with his off-spin as the Fire won the Southern Division.
In the Pacific Conference, the Chicago Tigers’ Calvin Savage won the Central award, while Simhadri also claimed the divisional MVP in the Western in addition to overall MVP honors.
Savage led the Tigers to the playoffs in the team’s inaugural season, with the 29-year-old South African – also contracted by MLC – taking 17 wickets and delivering a miserly economy rate of only 5.24 runs per over. With the bat, Savage scored 272 runs at a strike rate of 157.23.
Simhadri, who attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, joined the Thunderbolts for the 2021 season. The left-arm bowler proved astonishingly effective in taking wickets during the critical death overs to help lead Seattle to the 2022 MiLC championship title and win league MVP honors.