Chennai Super Kings buy Texas-based Major League Cricket franchise in USA
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have announced the purchase of a Texas-based franchise set to take part in the inaugural edition of the Major League Cricket (MLC), scheduled for launch this July in the USA.
One of the giants of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the CSK ownership group confirmed spreading their wings to the USA market via an official confirmation on Saturday (March 17) on their formal Twitter handle.
Amusingly calling it their "NRI cousin", the Super Kings unveiled the Texas side, which is notably their fourth team in the global T20 market after stakes in the newly-launched leagues in South Africa and UAE apart from the IPL where they are four-time champions.
Show some yellove to our NRI cousin, @TeamTexasMLC! 🤠 #HowdyTexas #MajorLeagueCricket pic.twitter.com/OvsntNUig3— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) March 18, 2023
CSK confirms stake in MLC with Texas franchise
No official team name has been confirmed yet, or any other details of the purchase offered by the Super Kings, with the side called 'Team Texas' only for now. It was reported by ESPNcricinfo on Friday (March 17) that CSK have allied with a local investor in America to purchase the Texas side, which is notably one of the four MLC sides to have ownership rights with an IPL franchise.
Other billion-dollar corporate giants that have fully or partly owned a franchise in USA's ambitious MLC project are Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who were the earliest investors in the league from IPL, alongside Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Capitals (DC).
Global star icon Shahrukh Khan co-owned KKR franchise has bought the franchise based in Los Angeles. MI will be running the franchise based in New York on its own, too. Unlike the Capitals, owned by the GMR Sports Private Ltd and Jindal Sports West, who have partnered with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to buy the Seattle franchise.
The MLC is thus another opportunity for IPL's big players to spread their ownership canvas in the growing T20 market and further strengthen their grip on the cricketing map.
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The development of CSK buying a team in MLC arrives a day before the tournament's official local player draft in Houston, where more than 100 USA players will be slotted into different franchises, also including non-IPL owned teams in Washington and San Francisco.
The inaugural edition of the MLC will be played between July 13 to 30 in Texas' newly renovated facility based in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie. Teams can fill upto a minimum of 15 and maximum of 18 players in their squad for the competition, under the condition that six taking the field in the playing XI must be from the USA. There will be no overseas draft for the players; franchises can sign their players from abroad individually.
ESPNcricinfo reported, that teams will be allowed a purse of 800,000 USD for their overseas and 300,000 USD for USA-based picks.