Player Registration Portal Opened For Minor League Cricket T20:
USA Cricket and American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) announced the launch of an online player registration platform for the inaugural edition of the 24-team Cricket T20 Minor League. The registration process, which opened earlier this week, is expected to run until 31 July. The registration process will lay the initial groundwork for the player’s draft, which is provisionally scheduled for the first week of August.
“It’s exciting to learn that we’ve received over 1,000 player registrations on our platform at majorleaguecricket.com within two days of the launch of the registration process. Minor League Cricket is confirmed for this year starting on August 22, obviously keeping COVID (impacts) in mind. It’s exciting to launch an official top-level domestic T20 cricket competition in the US that will feature globally renowned and high-quality players, “said William Swann, Director of Corporate Development at ACE at the leading media house.
All four conferences (Western, Central, Southern and Eastern) would also entail having their own ‘draft zones’ if there is more than one team located in the region, the intention being to have a draft in each draft zone rather than to have a single regional draft in its entirety. For example, the Eastern Conference consists of a proposed region that includes New Jersey and New York City. A draft zone will be set up for field 3 teams and these 3 teams will then take part in a draft which will consist of players registered exclusively in these draft zones.
Leading up to the draft day, the team owner will be able to select 3 ‘international players,’ 3 ‘domestic players’ and 3 U21 players in their 18-man roster. The Franchise Owner may directly hire these players during the draft, given that the player has selected the Franchise Owner’s Team as the ‘Preferred Team’ during the registration process.
A player who has played any game at the international level, FC, List A, or ‘T20’ would be called a ‘professional’ player. Professional players are also categorized as ‘domestic professionals’ who are US-based players and ‘Wildcard professionals’ who are non-US-based players. Nevertheless, there will only be a limit of 1 wildcard professional per squad. Teams would be classified in the domestic and U21 categories if they are U.S. residents or are already domiciled in the U.S. and do not fall under the ‘qualified’ category.
Despite being the promoters and owners of the Minor League, USA Cricket CEO Iain Higgins, in an earlier conversation with Cricbuzz, suggested that Minor League Cricket will be one of the significant routes to national selection, and the Board aims to work closely with ACE on selection policy issues among others.
“We want to be as open as possible on governance and selection issues. We have set up a Minor League Board of Governors that will be made up of ACE leaders, US Cricket officeholders, and a few representatives from independent local leagues,” said Sameer Mehta of ACE.
“We have also set up selection processes. Each team will have a 3-member selection committee to oversee the selection of the team. The president of the selection committee will be named by the franchise owner with close ties to the local cricket community. The other 2 selectors will be named by ACE in consultation with the Governing Council and the franchise owner, respectively.”
The US is home to an extremely large number of expatriates from the commonwealth and the Indian subcontinent in particular. This includes countless players who have played respectable exposure and age-limited competitive cricket in their homeland, as well as the 2nd and 3rd generation of immigrants who have successfully managed to retain the game in a world where cricket is a major international sport. With more than 400 players set to join these teams to play official domestic cricket for the very first time in their lives, Minor League Cricket is set to galvanize the US cricket community as never before.