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Major League Cricket (MLC) has had talks with several English players but the director assures they do not want to wage a war with anyone.
Major League Cricket, based in the United States has garnered huge interest in the cricketing world and several top T20 superstars have hopped on the lucrative tournament. The MLC director recently expressed his wish to see more England players in the league.
The inaugural edition of the MLC kicks off on July 13 and will conclude on July 30. Player salaries are highly attractive, with top overseas players earning US$ 175,000 to feature in a minimum of five games. With such high contracts, the white-ball players around the globe have shown big interest in the league.
From England, Jason Roy is the only active player to play in the MLC 2023. He will be playing for Los Angeles Knight Riders, an affiliate of Kolkata Knight Riders. MLC’s director Justin Geale said they would like more English players to feature in the league but have no intention of starting a war with any board.
What the Major League Cricket Director said
“We’d probably like a couple more of the [England] guys, to be honest, But there are enough players to go around and we’re certainly not here to start a war with anyone,” said Justin Geale, MLC’s tournament director.
“It’d probably be a big ask for the red-ball, centrally contracted players but I think for some of the white-ball guys, there’s a world where they come over for sure. It’s not a huge tournament. We’ve certainly had an awful lot of interest from English players and we’ve had some positive engagement with them.”
Double world champions England international players are in high demand across the T20 circuit. Several top stars held talks with MLC through their representatives but only Jason Roy took up the deal.
MLC is slated to take place in the gap between England’s two short-form tournaments T20 Blast and the Hundred. It clashes with two rounds of County Championship fixtures and two Ashes Tests.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had denied no-objection certificates (NOCs) to their centrally contracted players to play in the MLC. Roy then requested a release from his incremental contract in order to secure a deal with Los Angeles Knight Riders.
ECB’s stance is understandable given the facts that the MLC launch has had a direct impact on the Hundred, their 100-ball competition. The two leagues do not clash directly, with the Hundred starting two days after MLC’s final, on August 1. However, several overseas players backed out of the Hundred draft after signing contracts with the MLC teams.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has already confirmed that he has an offer to participate in the next year’s MLC season. Lucrative salaries and the involvement of IPL-affiliated teams will maintain a higher standard of overseas players in MLC which puts the Hundred under threat. However, Geale insisted that the league is not trying to compete with anyone.
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