Whenever the subject of cricket in the United States comes up, the same old questions are asked.
From the unlikely scenario of American kids swapping their NFL football for a cricket bat, to quizzical looks about the financial viability of the game in North America, skeptical eyebrows are usually raised.
Granted, there have been enough false dawns over the years to deflate even the most fervent of Stateside cricket followers – yes, they do exist – yet with the advent of Major League Cricket (MLC) in 2023, this time could well be different.
So different, in fact, that MLC is set to receive further investment of $120m put together by a wide range of investors. To add to that, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), one of the most successful and valuable Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, are also plowing their money and reputation into the Twenty20 competition by taking control of a team in Los Angeles.
The question many would ask is: Why?
Well, KKR CEO Venky Mysore is adamant now is the time to invest in North American cricket. The businessman, who spent a large portion of his professional career in the United States, has seen a similar investment in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) pay dividends.
Millions across the world – particularly in India – have tuned in to see star performers like Andre Russell roll out for the CPL’s Trinidad Knight Riders. That’s a sure sign, according to Mysore, that a foray into the already heavily saturated US sporting market would be…