When we began working on the concept of STATSdraft, we stumbled upon interesting news: Major League Cricket was in the United States, and MLC was hosting its first-ever men's tournament in July of 2023. Cricket, as it turns out, is one of the world's oldest and most popular sports, yet Americans don't understand it. So why launch Major League Cricket in the U.S.?
The answer is simple: to grow a new fan base in the U.S.
Cricket deserves a U.S. fan base
As STATSdraft was starting to launch, we knew we had to attend the MLC playoffs in Dallas to better understand the sport and what it means to the world. As we started watching global footage of teams like the Windies (West Indies) and the Mumbai Indians, we couldn't believe how quickly we grasped the game and what we were learning. In fact, our STATSdraft muse, Farai, grew up watching and playing cricket in Zimbabwe, so he had a great time revisiting the sport he loved as a kid. He taught us the game and we started eating it up.
Once we started paying attention, we saw cricket everywhere. Our founder, Topher, connected with the Jayhawk Cricket Club, where he was welcomed with open arms into a community that didn't speak English while playing. He learned that a fellow Jayhawk, Burt Cockley, was a phenomenal Australian cricketer whose injuries eventually led him to the University of Kansas, where he earned a Masters of Sports Science degree and now is the Head of Physical Performance at Major League Cricket. We even discovered that Malala Yousafzai's husband, Asser Malik, is a GM at the Pakistan Cricket Board, and he has launched a line of high-end cricket clothing. We were quickly submerged in the sport.
We started watching some of the most beloved cricketers from across the globe and couldn't stop talking about the precision, athleticism, and excitement we witnessed in cricket. And we believed STATSdraft could be an entry point for helping grow Major League Cricket in the U.S.
We went to Dallas for the MLC tournament
What we saw in Dallas was incredible. We got to experience a community of fans from across the globe who came together to see some of their favorite players gather in the Texas heat. We were blown away by the fan experience the MLC team pulled off. We ate ballpark Indian food and waved team flags while helping kids get signatures from any player that was in the field.
What we realized is that cricket has a massive, rabid fan base that's bigger than football, baseball, or basketball in the United States. We want to be a part of its growth, especially as the Dallas area will continue to be a hub for cricket as the community hosts the men's T20 International Cricket Council's World Cup in 2024.
How you can help expand Major League Cricket in the U.S.
Our plan will be to pull cricket data into STATSdraft and to help grow Major League Cricket in the U.S. Watch for cricket in 2023, and in the meantime, check out the matches from the past summer to start getting the hang of it. We already know Major League Cricket in the U.S. is going to hit a six. We want you to be a part of it, too.