The T20 franchise circuit continues to spread its wings around the world and so the IPL franchises as 4 of the 6 teams in the Major League Cricket , USA’s new T20 franchise league, are owned by IPL owners.
The names of their teams are MI New York, Team Texas, Seattle Orcas, and Los Angeles Knight Riders. The other two teams are Washington Freedom and San Franciso Unicorns.
The draft for the first season of MLC, which will be played in July, took place on Monday in Houston, Texas.
As with most cricket leagues, it will be the overseas stars that will be bringing the eyeballs from countries outside the host nation. Several international stars like Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Anrich Nortje, Quinton de Kock, and Mitchell Marsh will glitter the MLC competition in the USA with their presence. Along with them were former internationals Rusty Theron, Corey Anderson, Liam Plunkett, and Sami Aslam who were picked in the draft.
Also, in the MLC draft were picked a number of Indians players. No, not the current Indian players, but those who have retired from cricket in India and under BCCI.
Over the past decade or so, a number of Indian cricketers, after not getting opportunities here, took the US citizenship and have been playing there. Finally, there dream of playing a full-fledged T20 league will get fulfilled as they were bought in the MLC draft.
Here is the list of the Indian players who were picked up in the MLC draft:
Unmukt Chand – Los Angeles Knight Riders ($65,000)
The 2012 Under-19 World Cup Unmukt Chand, who has played domestic cricket for Delhi and for DD and MI in the IPL, will play for Los Angeles Knight Riders in the MLC.
Harmeet Singh – Seattle Orcas ( $75,000)
Left-arm spinning all-rounder Harmeet Singh, who was also part of the 2012 U-19 WC winning team and who played first-class cricket for Tripura as recently as in 2020, was the first player to be picked up in the MLC draft 2023. Harmeet, who has been part of Rajasthan Royals’ squad in the past, will be playing for Seattle Orcas in MLC 2023 season.
Last year, Harmeet led Seattle Thunderbolts to the Minor League Cricket T20 championship.
Tajinder Singh – San Francisco Unicorns
All-rounder Tajinder Singh, who was born in Rajasthan and played domestic cricket for Rajasthan before migrating to the USA, will play for San Francisco Unicorns.
The right-arm off-spin bowler represented a couple of franchises, namely Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians, in the IPL.
Chaitanya Bishnoi – San Francisco Unicorns
San Francisco also snapped up Chaitanya Bishnoi, a batting all-rounder from Delhi who has been a member of the Chennai Super Kings squad from in the 2018 IPL (when CSK won the title) and in 2019.
Saurabh Netravalkar – Washington Freedom
A renowned name in the USA cricket is that of Saurabh Netravalkar, who captained India in 2010 U-19 WC, leading the likes of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. After coming to USA, Netravalkar soon was appointed USA’s captain and is a veteran here.
Sarabjeet Ladda – MI New York
Former Punjab leg-spinner Sarabjeet Ladda will be representing MI New York in MLC 2023 season. Ladda has played for DD and KKR in the IPL.
Smit Patel – San Francisco Unicorns
Another player from the 2012 U-19 batch, Smit Patel migrated to USA soon after Unmukt Chand. He was picked up by SFU. Patel played for the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League.
Milind Kumar – Team Texas
Former RCB cricketer Milind Kumar, an off-spinning all-rounder, was picked up by Team Texas in the MLC draft.