The American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) is gearing up to host the USA’s first-ever major cricket tournament, the inaugural Major League Cricket. Much like other popular sports in the United States, cricket now looks set to have it’s own Major League.
Ever since its announcement, there have been several interesting developments. These include the announcement of a long-term partnership between the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders and the ACE.
According to reports, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, along with Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe Inc, have become the latest to show interest in the tournament.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Knight Riders have signed to be associated with the Los Angeles based team, and it is now understood that Nadella is set to invest in the Seattle-based franchise. Seattle is the home of America’s tech industry and is also where the tech-giant, Microsoft is headquartered.
The 50-year-old American-Indian is a self-confessed cricket fan. He is thought to be working on developing a state-of-the-art cricketing facility at Redmond, Washington.
Of late, the ACE has been pushing for the development of cricket in the United States. Earlier this year, the ACE announced that it plans to begin the inaugural edition of Major League Cricket in 2022. Major League Cricket has since been sanctioned by USA Cricket.
Major League Cricket is expected to feature six teams, all exclusively owned by the ACE with investor-operators for each team who hold stakes in the company. The MLC is expected to be preceded by a development tournament in 2021, known as Minor League Cricket. It will feature 24 franchises based across the USA.
In November this year, the ACE announced that it will be leasing the AirHogs Stadium, a minor-league baseball facility, for 15 years to develop it into a cricket-specific facility. The stadium, which has a capacity of 6,000 spectators, is located in the outer suburbs of Dallas, Texas.