It has been a momentous year for American cricket: USA Cricket has been awarded co-hosting rights to the 2024 T20 Men’s World Cup, the inaugural Minor League Cricket Championship was the most extensive cricket competition to ever take place in this country and December will see an historic tour from ICC Full member Ireland to play the United States National Team.
Just as importantly, homegrown American cricket has taken incredible strides. Developing young talent across the country is of course critical to feeding the pathway that includes Minor League Cricket and Major League Cricket as it launches in the coming years, with the goal of providing top class talent for the United States National Team.
That progress in youth development will be showcased in the coming weeks, with the MLC Jr. Championship Semi-finals taking place over multiple weeks at Prairie View Cricket Complex near Houston, Texas. Eight teams representing U-11, U-13, U-15 and U-17 age groups from around the country are facing off in a Super 8 Format, with the top four teams from each age group to progress to the final round at the end of December 2021, where they’ll also be joined by the top four U-19 teams.
Qualifying for this stage of the competition has seen teams take part in multiple tournaments to qualify, with more than 300 matches taking place around the country throughout 2021. This week alone, in the U-11 Semi-finals, teams from New Jersey, Seattle, the Bay Area, Dallas, Houston, St Louis and Austin are competing for finals berths.
Jagan Nemani, Director of the MLC Jr. Championships, commented that “We have seen an incredible level of competitive cricket take place throughout this year, building up to the finals this November and December. The commitment of our teams, players, officials and volunteers to organize a nationwide, year-long tournament has been fantastic and will bear fruit for American cricket in the years to come.”
Scores, schedules and live streams from the Jr. Championships can be viewed at mlcjr.majorleaguecricket.com.