In a first of its kind for Victorian cricket, Cricket Victoria has finalized a strategic partnership with the San Francisco-based Major League Cricket (MLC) franchise to support the team for the inaugural edition of the groundbreaking competition that will take place later this year.
The competition will feature six teams representing major metropolitan areas in the United States, with San Francisco set to compete alongside Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Seattle and New York City. The 18-day tournament which begins on July 13, 2023, at Grand Prairie Stadium near Dallas, Texas, will feature some of the biggest stars in world cricket taking part alongside the United States’ best domestic talent.
The new program expands Cricket Victoria’s existing global footprint which includes an ongoing cricket development relationship with Japan Cricket, as well as having hosted and worked closely with international teams competing in World Cups and English county cricket teams at its headquarters in St Kilda over the last three years.
The initial phase of the partnership in 2023 will see Cricket Victoria and the San Francisco side focus on building their team ahead of the inaugural season of Major League Cricket, but ultimately could lead to a number of high-performance oriented initiatives that will provide opportunities for Victoria’s emerging talent as well as the chance to US-based players to learn and grow within Victorian cricket.
The professional services agreement with the San Francisco franchise, and its lead investors Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan (both Founding Partners of Rocketship VC and leading Bay Area entrepreneurs), focuses on preparing the team for on-field success during the inaugural season of MLC.
Cricket Victoria representatives will be in attendance at the iconic Space Center Houston, the official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, on March 19 for the inaugural MLC Player Draft, as they assist in compiling a talented squad for the San Francisco franchise ahead of MLC’s inaugural season.
Cricket Victoria CEO Nick Cummins said the partnership with the Bay Area based franchise was an exciting prospect.
“It’s an incredible opportunity and we’re excited to see how it unfolds over the months ahead. We’ve had very productive conversations with MLC and the lead investors of the San Francisco team over the last few months which have led us to this point,” Cummins said.
“Beyond that, we have a responsibility to present new opportunities to Victorian cricket. In a rapidly evolving global cricket landscape, we believe our partnership with San Francisco and MLC gives us a chance to do just that.”
Lead investors of the San Francisco MLC franchise, Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, said:
“As MLC launches a new era for the game of cricket here in the US, this important partnership with Cricket Victoria represents a significant step for our San Francisco-based MLC franchise. In our discussions to date, we have been delighted to see Cricket Victoria demonstrate their capability and expertise to support our on-field ambitions with a best-in-class approach. We’re excited to build this partnership and accelerate our preparations ahead of Major League Cricket’s inaugural season this year.”
Sameer Mehta, Co-founder of Major League Cricket, said:
“Following the announcement of the partnership between the Washington D.C. MLC franchise and Cricket NSW last month, we are thrilled that another globally recognized cricket organization like Cricket Victoria shares our vision to advance the sport of cricket in the United States. Cricket Victoria’s experience in growing the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades to become two of Australia’s most recognizable sporting franchises will provide invaluable assistance to the San Francisco MLC franchise ahead of the upcoming season.”