New South Wales has joined forces with Major League Cricket (MLC) in the US in a first-of-its-kind partnership for Australian cricket which includes a deal with the Washington DC franchise which will see them help build the team.
This could including playing opportunities for NSW cricketers in the tournament, although there will be nothing tying them to have to play for Washington DC if there are offers from other franchises. Players involved in the Ashes won’t be available, but a number of the state’s leading domestic names could feature. NSW will also provide help – both in guidance and personnel – with coaching, sports science and sports medicine, performance analysis and team operations for the DC franchise.
The majority of franchises are expected to align with IPL teams, but NSW chief executive Lee Germon said that Washington DC lead investor Sanjay Govill had wanted something different which is what helped the partnership come together.
“There were probably two or three investors who wanted to look outside of an IPL partnership and it started focusing in on Sanjay at Washington DC because he was very keen to not have an IPL partner, but partner with someone outside who could really bring what we wanted to the table,” Germon said.
The broader part of the deal with MLC will open up opportunities for USA cricketers, both male and female, to play in Sydney grade competitions and use the NSW training facilities. There are also plans for tours by USA teams to NSW and a reciprocal coaching exchanged programme to include the BBL and WBBL.
It has taken a number of years, and included several delays, for the MLC to get off the ground – while wider USA cricket has endured regular problems with administration – but Germon believed it was the right time to get involved with the game in the US, and at a point where NSW is also looking for new income streams.
“[There’s] a bit of a chequered background to USA cricket but everyone [is] understanding the huge potential,” Germon said. “When I first met with MLC last year, I was pleasantly surprised at the passion that they showed not only at the elite level but to grow the whole ecosystem.
“Then I was impressed in the amount of detail they’ve gone to around infrastructure for example, and when you look through the cohort of investors they are very successful people from very successful companies who have chosen to now invest in the sport in the United States.”
Sameer Mehta, Co-founder of Major League Cricket, said: “We’re delighted to be able to partner with Cricket New South Wales, a renowned global cricket entity with a proven track-record of success both on and off the field. As our cricketing ecosystem in the United States continues to grow, adding the support of an organisation with Cricket New South Wales’s experience enables us to rapidly accelerate the development of key personnel, including players, coaches and support staff.”