The first professional cricket team in Texas now has a team name and a talented roster of players.
This is the state's first professional cricket team in Major League Cricket (MLC), which is the first professional cricket league in the U.S. So many firsts.
Get ready to cheer for: Texas Super Kings. That's the name. Go Kings go!
They also hired a coach and nine players, following the first MLC draft which took place on Sunday, March 19 in Houston at the Space Center and telecast live across the globe.
At this event, six MLC teams — representing Texas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. — selected nine domestic cricketers.
Texas' team will be led by coach Stephen Fleming, a former captain of the New Zealand national cricket team and head coach of Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings. He played in the historic first Twenty20 International of the world as captain of the New Zealand team in 2005.
The Texas Super Kings also announced their partnership with Chennai Super Kings, an Indian Premier League franchise cricket team based in Chennai, India who will bring operational expertise and help lead the Texas team to championships.
The Texas Super Kings' roster features these top domestic cricketers:
- Round 1: Rusty Theron
- Round 2: Calvin Savage
- Round 3: Lahiru Milantha
- Round 4: Milind Kumar
- Round 5: Sami Aslam
- Round 6: Cameron Stevenson
- Round 7: Cody Chetty
- Round 8: Zia Shahzad
- Round 9: Saiteja Mukkamalla
Super Kings' co-owner Anurag Jain notes in a statement that cricket is popular around the globe, and now it's time to make it popular in the U.S.
“Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world with a global fan base of around 2.5 billion followers, but there has not been an opportunity for the sport to grow in the U.S.,” Jain says. “We look forward to having a professional team in Texas for the passionate local cricket community to root for and to introduce the sport to new fans across the country.”
Jain, a partner with Perot Jain and chairman of Access Healthcare; and Ross Perot Jr., chairman of the Perot Group, were among the cricket enthusiasts and investors in a $44 million funding round that will help MLC build facilities across the country.
The MLC inaugural season begins July 13, 2023 at the first professional cricket stadium in the U.S., Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie.
The 2023 season will feature 19 matches to be played over 18 days, building up to the first MLC championship final to take place on July 30. The stadium will have a permanent capacity of 7,200 and will feature 1,000 club and premium seats, with the ability to expand to a capacity of over 15,000 for major events, including matches at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, to be co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies.