Steve Smith is reportedly a chance of playing cricket in the United States next year after conducting secret talks with bosses of a new American T20 league.
The inaugural Major League Cricket competition gets underway in July this year, played across three weeks in Texas and North Carolina. The six-team tournament has received financial backing from wealthy Indian businessmen and celebrities, with more than AU$174 million invested by the likes of Microsoft boss Satya Nardella and Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan.
Each of the six franchises — based in Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Seattle and New York City — has a $1.5 million salary cap to secure 18 players, with a maximum of seven overseas stars.
Watch Australia’s Tour of India. Every Test & ODI live & ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Last week, Cricket NSW announced a strategic partnership with MLC that would allow American players to feature in NSW Premier Cricket and Australian players to participate in the American T20 tournament.
Additionally, CNSW has also agreed to a high performance partnership with the Washington DC franchise — New South Wales is expected to contribute players and staff for the team.
“With the global cricket landscape currently undergoing significant transition, we view the United States as a market with immense growth potential,” CNSW chief executive Lee Germon said in a statement.
“Cricket NSW’s track record in high performance cricket and elite match operations is second to none and we believe we can bring a raft of experience to MLC and the Washington D.C. franchise in the coming years.”
Smith, who has turned New York into his second home, will not be available for this year’s MLC competition because it clashes with the Ashes, but News Corpreports the 33-year-old has been in talks with the competition’s bosses about an appearance in 2024.
The Men’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to get underway in the United States and the West Indies in June next year, and Smith could have a vacant window after the tournament.
“We’ve been in touch with Steve about his plans and what he’s thinking,” MLC co-founder Sameer Mehta told News Corp.
“What he’d love to do at some point is play cricket in the US as his schedule permits.
“His view was that if he could make it work and if we could make it work – I know this season, he has commitments. I don’t know what the Australian calendar is next year but I believe there is enough space for him to potentially play.”
“Long-term … our view is that we might see a lot of him in the US.”
Earlier this summer, Smith said it would be “pretty cool” to finish his playing career in the United States, where he and his wife Dani announced their engagement in 2017.
“There’s obviously leagues popping up everywhere around the world now, and I think you’ll probably see more players in the back end of their career going down that route, so it’s potentially something I’ll look at in the future,” Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald in September.
“The US has been a market that cricket’s been trying to get into for some time. So yeah, I think it’d be interesting to see how it goes.”
The United States has been earmarked as one of cricket’s growing markets, with the nation’s
financial power and sizeable South Asian diaspora fast-tracking the sport’s development.
The first season of the MLC is slated to begin on July 13 in Texas.
Australian cricket superstar David Warner revealed his misery with how Cricket Australia (CA) dealt with his lifetime captaincy ban following the ball-tampering
Late Indian cricketer Amritsar Govindsingh Kripal Singh is a popular name in the annals of Chennai’s cricketing history. His ancestors migrated to erstwhile M
David Warner attack Cricket Australia over his Leadership Ban row.Photo : APSubscribe to NotificationsKEY HIGHLIGHTSDavid Warner felt he was disrespected by Cri
Adidas to replace KKPL as the new kit sponsor of Indian cricket teamA stripe more or a stripe less?Adidas appointed kit sponsor for Indian cricket team till Mar