All Things Cricket: MiLC Edition

What if I told you there was a sports league that starts at 10 am on Saturday, runs until 7 pm and then repeats that schedule on Sunday, has 10 or so games each day that span the USA, and you could watch all 20 or so games over the weekend live from start to finish on YouTube for free without having to sign up for anything? How about if I told you that if you happen to live near one or more the venues, you can go and watch for free and bring your own food and drinks (some allow alcohol, some don’t)? How about if I told you there is a dedicated fan base that generates advanced stats for the league and publishes them online? How about if I told you there is a fantasy league you can join? How about if I told you that you can ask to be a commentator, YouTube creator, or writer for the league and chances are, they might let you? Sports nirvana, right? Such a sports league exists. It’s called Minor League Cricket ( Yup. That cricket.

I experienced what has to be the ultimate sports-watching weekend over the July 4th holiday and I want to share it with you. Since this was a holiday weekend, there were special Friday evening Minor League Cricket (MiLC for short) games. I live near Pearland, Texas, where Moosa Cricket Stadium, home of the Lone Star Athletics of MiLC, is located. Moosa Stadium was built almost entirely from the personal funds of Sakhi Muhammad, owner of a local Mistubishi dealership called Smart Choice, who emigrated from Pakistan in the 90s. “Moosa” was his late father’s name. The ground itself is immaculately curated by a West Indian named Samuel Plummer who Muhammad hired after his initial attempts at creating the ground resulted in soggy outfields and a fairly ragged pitch. The rest of the facility consists of several buildings at the front of the stadium that act as covered seating, changing rooms and a media center and two gazebos beyond the outfield fences, all of which have a sort of West Indian plantation aesthetic, with yellow clapboard siding and diagonal wooden lattices. There is a large stair-stepped concrete slab to the left side of the ground that acts as a grandstand on the rare occasions when enough spectators show up. The grandstand slab is topped by viewing and camera stations with the same yellow clapboard and lattice. The whole stadium is surrounded by the flags of the teams and players who have played there, which is a considerable number since the ground was built in 2015. There is also a charming (read: treacherous) manual scoreboard with sliding aluminum numbers that I have cut my hands on many times while doing the scoring for various games (mostly because nobody else felt like doing it because it sits in direct sunlight).

I headed over to Moosa at 3:30 pm to check out the first scheduled game of the weekend, Lone Star Athletics vs. Michigan Cricket Stars. Lone Star called themselves Austin last year, because the initial thought was that they would play there. No suitable ground was ready, and Muhammad stepped up at the 11th hour to offer Moosa as the home ground. They played all of their home matches in 2021 there, including a playoff series vs. Silicon Valley Strikers. They decided to remove the Austin name in the off-season as it became clear that no Austin ground was forthcoming. Michigan is an odd team, hailing from the Detroit area, which you wouldn’t think would be a hotbed for cricket, with the harsh winters and short summers. They have a really solid ownership group, though, and have attracted some below-the-radar good players. One of their top players from last year was Ryan Scott, a hard-hitting opening batter originally from Jamaica. He managed to crack the USA T20 lineup and played against Ireland in December after consistently bashing it around for Michigan in 2021.

As is typical with Moosa during an MiLC game, there were about 20 cars in the parking lot, almost all belonging to players, coaches, support staff, and their families. I wandered around the ground and finally decided to sit in the “VIP” box with some of the player’s families. It was recently enclosed for two tri-series at Moosa in which the USA played first Scotland and UAE and then Nepal and Oman. It is somewhat air-conditioned and has a giant screen showing the YouTube broadcast. Scott got himself out early, going for 18 runs off 14 deliveries, but two other stealthily good Michigan players, Nauman Anwar and Zeeshan Maqsood, ran riot all over the Lone Star bowlers. Anwar is a Pakistani cricketer who played a few T20 games for Pakistani before being dropped. He plays domestically for Lahore and is on the Karachi Kings of the Pakistan Super League, Pakistan’s version of franchise T20. Maqsood is the captain of the Oman cricket team and just played in the recent tri-series at Moosa. Oman currently leads the Cricket World Cup League 2 qualifier (in which the USA is 4th out of 8 teams) thanks in large part to Maqsood’s captaincy.

Michigan finished at 214/3, an insanely high score at Moosa, where the average is usually around 160. Anwar recorded the first 100 of the young season for any team, getting 119 off 63 balls without getting out. Lone Star simply had no answers for quality batters such as these. I took my leave to watch the rest of the game at home. Meanwhile, two other games had started, Houston Hurricanes vs. Chicago Blasters at Prairie View Cricket Complex, which is nominally in the Houston metro area, and New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers vs. Morrisville Raptors at Church Street Park in Morrisville, NC.

Both of these grounds come with great stories. Prairie View Cricket Complex is a sprawling expanse of eight cricket grounds set hard by Highway 290 in Prairie View, Texas, some 50 miles from downtown Houston. It is the childhood dream realized of Tanweer Ahmed, born in Pakistan and now a local owner of Yum! Brands franchises. Four of the eight grounds employ natural turf pitches, a rarity in the United States. The “pitch” is the 22 yard by 10 foot rectangle in the middle of the cricket ground where most of the action takes place. Natural turf pitches are what the rest of the cricket world uses for international and domestic competition and are considered the standard. Many grounds in MiLC use artificial turf pitches over a concrete slab. These are easier to maintain and allow for a truer, more consistent bounce of the ball, but they take away a key element of the game, which is the ball’s interaction with a natural surface that can change in unpredictable ways throughout a match or series of matches (Moosa also has natural turf pitches). Ahmed employs a former ExxonMobil engineer named Mangesh Choudhari to operate the Complex. Choudhari abandoned his career (at least temporarily) at the oil company, after achieving his PhD, to take his dream job of managing a cricket facility. He has taught himself agronomy, and along with a few other of Ahmed’s employees, prepares the pitches for competition. PVCC has been chosen by Major League Cricket, the US-based franchise T20 league that is supposed to start in 2023, as a national training center.

Church Street Park was built by the local Morrisville, NC government after the leadership of the local Triangle Cricket League spent a great deal of time cultivating relationships with City Hall and county administrators. The ground is also pristine, with a beautifully curated natural pitch, and comes with an electronic scoreboard (my fingers rejoice!) and floodlights that allow for night play. The surrounding community, both South Asian and non-South Asian alike, has taken a shine to the ground and shows up to Raptors games in numbers that make all the other MiLC teams jealous.

As Michigan was wrapping up a 45-run trouncing of Lone Star, Houston was holding the Chicago Blasters to 130 runs while bowling them out at PVCC. Three of the wickets were taken by Matthew Tromp, who along with his brother Joshua are two of many young South Africans who have joined MiLC to get exposure and playing time to improve their chances to play for their home country, or possibly stay on and join team USA, depending on their individual circumstances. Dane Piedt, 32, who played for years domestically in South Africa and appeared in 9 Tests for the Proteas, is the captain of Morrisville Raptors. Chicago Blasters is one of two Windy City teams, the other being the Tigers. The two Chicago teams in 2021, the Blasters and Catchers, were two of the poorest performing teams in the league, and the Catchers owners were removed in favor of another ownership group. The Tigers actually won their home opener, so things are looking better this year in Chicago for at least one of the teams. Houston easily chased the 131 target with two overs to spare in this game, which brought on game 3 of the day at Church Street Park.

The New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers are one of two New Jersey teams, the other being the Stallions. The Stallions had more success last year, reaching the MiLC finals, but the Cavaliers were also competitive, finishing at 7-8 with one no result. Both teams are laden with West Indian players, which is a large cricket-playing diaspora in that part of the country (there are plenty of South Asians there as well). New Jersey batted first and lost one of their openers, Chandrapaul Hemraj, in the 3rd over, and the other, Salim Iqbal, in the 5th over. Big-hitter and former USA player Xavier Marshall exited cheaply with 13 runs off 19 deliveries, and that set the tone for the rest of the innings, with the Cavaliers losing 8 wickets and amassing only 132 runs. Par score at Church Street, which has bigger boundaries than Moosa, is around 150. In the second innings, the home team, being cheered on by a crowd that would only become larger throughout the holiday weekend, got off to a rough start, with youngster Rohan Phadke and Chinmay Kushare both falling in the first over. Larihuru Malantha righted the ship for awhile, getting 42 runs off 34 deliveries before ceding to Jacobus Piennar, another young South African, and Colin Archibald from the West Indies. Needing only a little over a run a ball, the veteran batters of Morrisville chipped away slowly, losing key wickets along the way but maintaining a steady pace. Finally, on the last ball of the game, the Raptors captain Piedt crushed the Cavaliers hopes of an upset with an off-side drive past the bowler to seal the Raptors victory and send the crowd home happy and craving more. This late-game drama would be a recurring motif in Morrisville as the weekend progressed.

Saturday morning, I woke up to watch the England Test match against India (we’ll get to that), and then after breakfast I decided to drive back out to Moosa to catch the Dallas Mustangs vs. East Bay Blazers game. Dallas was called Irving last year, and re-branded to cash in on whatever “America’s Team” luster they could get. They went undefeated on opening weekend and looked spectacular doing it, chasing 204 from Houston with relative ease in one of the games. East Bay just missed the playoffs in the loaded West Division in 2021, being barely edged out by the Golden State Grizzlies for the second playoff spot. I figured this would be a good game, at least compared to the other game at Moosa that day, Lone Star vs. Seattle Thunderbolts. Lone Star hadn’t won a game yet, and didn’t look very capable of winning one any time soon, and Seattle had already won a game and looked pretty solid thanks to some more South Africans, Shadley van Schalkwyk and Andries Gous.

Rain was forecast for the afternoon, but the morning was sunny on my drive to the field. I decided to sit in the visiting “fans” stands (there were five of us) because it wasn’t too hot and that area provided good shade. Dallas batted first and seemed like a completely different team, which was not surprising considering that the West Division teams were generally superior in 2021. The Mustangs stumbled and bumbled to 148 for 5, with only Hussain Talat at 43 off 27 balls looking like he came to score. The rain clouds moved slowly toward the ground from the southwest and there was thunder heard off in the distance as East Bay went into bat. East Bay also got off slowly and never really got going, hitting only 6 fours and 2 sixes and losing four wickets.

The only highlight of the whole game was the very last play. As the ninth over ended, Angelo Perera of East Bay heaved a pull shot high into the air toward the long on boundary. Just at that instant, rain started pouring down on the field. Farhan Sahibzada of Dallas raced over on the dead run from the cow corner position, stopped as the ball came down, reached up and grabbed it as it was going over the boundary while rain fell into his eyes, flipped the ball up into the air, continued over the boundary and then came back on to the field of play to catch the ball again. Perera, the non-striker, Sanjay Krishnamurthy, and the East Bay bench celebrated as if Perera had just hit a six before a collective groan went out as they all realized that Perera had been called out by the umpire. None of the catch was caught on camera, since the camera man was probably also getting rained on and forgot to pivot the lens over from the middle of the field to see what had happened. You had to be there, as they say, and I was. As the rain cascaded down, the umpires called play and everyone ran off while the covers were pulled on. We (all five of us and the teams) waited as the rain petered out to a steady sprinkle over the course of an hour. The Seattle Thunderbolts team bus arrived and the players convened right in front of me and even next to me while they waited for the rain to stop. Finally, I saw the East Bay and Dallas players shaking hands in front of the East Bay bench as one of the grounds crew said “It’s called.” That was it. East Bay had managed 54 runs and lost 4 wickets at the 9th over when the rain came, and since both team had batted the minimum 5 overs, a winner had to be decided by the extremely complicated and proprietary method called “Duckworth/Lewis/Stern,” or DLS for short. Let’s take a detour for that.

In cricket, since one team bats first and puts up a total for the other team to chase, you have to come up with a fair way to decide who was the better team that day if rain (or fog, or snow, or an asteroid, or whatever) interrupts play. In this case, you can’t just go back and see what Dallas had scored after 9 overs and compare, because Dallas thought they were playing a 20 over game. In this game, they did in fact bat all 20 overs, and scored 148 for a loss of 5 wickets. To determine who won, you have to take East Bay’s score of 54 for 4 wickets after 9 overs, and run it through a formula that takes into account both runs scored and wickets lost to see what target score East Bay would have to achieve at any point in their innings to win. As it turns out, the target score for East Bay after nine overs was 70 runs. Since the game was called at that point, we say that Dallas won by 16 runs by DLS method. The really interesting thing here is, what would have happened had Sahibzada not made that unbelievable catch and East Bay had in fact scored a six and not lost a wicket? Well, the target score would have been 61 runs, and Dallas would still have won, but only by 1 run! At the time the game was called, it was barely raining at all, and the start of the second game that day could have been postponed at least another hour to have enough daylight for it to finish. Would East Bay have pushed to get back on the field trailing on DLS by only 1 run? We’ll never know.

I found out the outcome on my phone, because nobody at the ground ever said anything and there is no PA system. They announced it on the YouTube feed, and then somebody on the excellent Discord server I follow told me. What weirdness. In any case, I drove back home to watch the, oh, 10 or 12 more games that were being played that day. All the games this particular weekend were being played at only the three venues I’ve mentioned, Moosa, PVCC, and Church Street Park. This is unusual, and teams play home and away games at their own venues, generally speaking, most weeks. The reason it was scheduled this way was to take advantage of three natural turf wicket venues that are centrally located and well-suited for a 4-day weekend of games.

I started my GoogleTV and opened up YouTube when I got home. My choices were Golden State vs. Michigan from PVCC; DC Hawks vs. New England Eagles from Church Street Park; Hollywood Master Blasters vs. Chicago Blasters from PVCC (the Battle of the Blasters!); and the second game at Moosa, Lone Star vs. Seattle. Golden State and Michigan was clearly the best game. Golden State made the playoffs last year and I’d already seen that Michigan was going to contend this year. I was rewarded for my choice with a nerve-wracking chase by Michigan, who had yielded 194 for 3 in the opening innings. Michigan appeared to be steadily making their way to an upset after a Maqsood 50, until they lost two huge wickets, of Ferhan Ali and Rehman Dar, in the 20th over and fell 6 runs short.

Time to watch another game. Atlanta Lightning, another new team that had taken over the spot of the departed Atlanta Param Veers from 2021, was clobbering the Cavaliers. The Lightning and the Atlanta Fire will play their home games at the Atlanta Cricket Fields in Forsyth County, Georgia. This is the second Major League Cricket National Training Center after PVCC. Since the Lightning had this one in hand, the obvious choice of my next game was Silicon Valley Strikers vs. Houston Hurricanes. Silicon Valley’s captain is Unmukt Chand, who captained the India U19 team to the U19 World Cup title in 2011. His career never took off in India, and he decided at age 29 to embark to the USA and give MiLC a shot. It was a raging success in 2021, as he powered Silicon Valley to the 2021 MiLC Championship, bludgeoning the Austin Athletics in the third and deciding game of the Quarterfinal with a whopping 132 off 69 balls (I was there!) and then guiding them through the semifinal against Houston and the final against New Jersey Stallions at Church Street Park. The rematch with this version of Houston wasn’t going to be as good, since Houston was missing the highly talented fast bowler Ali Khan, who was on Team USA duty, but it was still worth a look.

Silicon Valley won it easily, having five batters score over 25 runs each and five bowlers taking wickets. The Strikers are looking unbeatable this season, comfortably beating a playoff team from 2021 on their home ground and getting contributions across the whole team. I turned my attention to for the rest of the day to Church Street Park and the matchup between the home Morrisville Cardinals and The Philadelphians.

Any game at Morrisville is a treat to watch. The announcing team of Aaman Patel, a 19-year-old local player and college student with the professionalism of a long-time commentating veteran, and Nate Hays, a native of Maryland and current Raleigh resident who has risen to fame within the MiLC ranks by producing and appearing in weekly YouTube highlight videos on the league website, is the best in the league by a wide margin. This particular match was especially intriguing since it featured the MiLC debut of Liam Plunkett, who played for England on their Cricket World Cup-winning squad in 2019. Plunkett’s wife is from Philadelphia, and having won a World Cup, he and his wife decided to move closer to her family, giving Plunkett the chance to be the captain of The Philadelphians. The Philadelphians were also-rans last season, but only after they won two thrilling chases featuring Jonathan Foo. Foo is from Guyana, with a Chinese father and Indian mother. Foo won games against the Florida Beamers and DC Hawks in 2021 with a barrage of sixes at the end. After the DC game, he charged the commentary area, knocked over the camera, and hugged the commentators, instantly making him one of my favorite players.

What a match this was! It took all day to get a corker, but it was worth it. Led by Plunkett’s 41 off 28 and Derick Narine’s 25 off 16, The Philadelphians put up a slightly sub-par score for the ground of 145/6. Plunkett lost sometime USA player Karima Gore as his partner in the 12th over and then Foo in the 16th over and had to rely on two tail-enders, Chirasu Bhatia and Mario Rampersaud, to get him on strike for the remainder of the innings, which depressed the final total.

Morrisville responded with a slow start from Milantha, who was gotten out by Plunkett on the 4th ball of the innings, and didn’t start scoring until Pienaar came to the crease. His careful 43 off 34 combined with Archibald’s swashbuckling 31 off 14 got Morrisville within striking range into the last over, and finally the last ball, down 1 run. As the crowd, even bigger than last night, was going berserk, Pienaar sliced a ball to deep point, and he and Archibald took off. They got the tying run easily, but the ball was fielded cleanly and the throw just beat Pienaar as he dove headlong over the line trying for the winning run. Tie game. That means we have a super over.

A super over involves each team batting six legal deliveries, one team after the other, and the higher score in those six deliveries wins (each team is also allowed to lose one wicket, but if they lose two, their half of the super over ends at that point). Morrisville got to bat first because they batted last in the game. Morrisville decided to put in Pienaar and Archibald, their best partnership during the game. Plunkett put Karima Gore into bowl. Morrisville’s choice of Archibald was a good one as he continued his form from the game, adding a two, a four, and a six in the five deliveries he faced. Pienaar added one run and a wide was bowled. The final target for The Philadelphians was 15 to win, 14 to tie. A tie in the super over means you go back and see how many boundaries each team had, including the super over. Morrisville was leading in boundaries 16-13 at that point.

On strike for the Philadelphians was Milind Kumar and his partner was Abdullah Syed, facing Archibald. Plunkett not only didn’t put himself in to bat, but also left Foo out of the super over partnership, which I thought was strange considering Foo’s late-game heroics last season. I told the Discord server that I was going to write a nasty letter to MiLC headquarters for depriving me of Jonathan Foo. As it happens, Foo got in the super over after all when Archibald bowled Syed on the third ball. Kumar then popped out to mid-on on the next ball to end the game, give Morrisville the victory and send the crowd into frenzy. Foo never even got to face a delivery. It was a crushing loss for Plunkett on his team debut, but maybe now he knows how New Zealand felt when Plunkett’s England beat them in a very similar way to win the 2019 World Cup. More on Plunkett later.

Oh, there was another super over on Saturday, this time at Moosa! Yup, the game I didn’t stay for. That one was even weirder, because DLS affected it. Amid off and on rain with darkness looming, the game was shortened to 15 overs midway through Seattle’s innings. Seattle scored 127 runs and lost only 1 wicket in their 15 overs. Plugging this into the DLS calculator, this gave Lone Star a target of 153 to win. Lone Star slowly and methodically plodded toward the total until the last over, when they needed 10 runs to win. They got the scores level thanks to Jannisar Khan (another favorite of mine – he gave my wife and me Austin Athletics caps last season when he saw us as the only two fans in stands), who finished at 26 off only 8 deliveries. Unfortunately for Lone Star, the last delivery of the 15th over knicked off Khan’s bat toward the third fielder area, and Rohan Posinapally flew from nowhere, laid out vertically off the ground and made a game-saving grab to send it to a super over. Lone Star set the target at 8 to win, and Seattle tracked that down with a four, a no-ball, a free-hit 2, and a quick single, ending the day in disappointment for the home team.

Whew. Day 2, the first full day, done. There are two more days to talk about. Like I said, sports nirvana. I hope you are getting the picture by now.

As this piece is quickly climbing into an unreadable word count, let’s hit only the highlights of Day 3 and Day 4. The San Diego Surf Riders, the team with a marvelous name, a great announcer by the name of Jimmy Anklesaria, and maybe not so great players, managed to upset Houston at PVCC early Sunday. Houston is just not the same team without Khan and several other players who starred for them last season. Lone Star finally got a win, bowling out the SoCal Lashings for 86 runs and winning by 70 runs. SoCal is one of two Los Angeles-based teams, the other being the Hollywood Master Blasters. Neither team has been very competitive, and Hollywood invoked the ire of the league and fans by suiting up their 60+-year-old owner, Janak Patel, for their first two games, both losses.

Seattle followed up their super over win against Lone Star at Moosa on Saturday by beating St. Louis Americans 75 miles away at PVCC, by nine wickets. It wasn’t even that close. They look to be right behind Silicon Valley and Golden State, vying for that second playoff spot if either of them falter. Speaking of the Strikers, they toyed with the Chicago Tigers at PVCC, scoring 215 runs and letting Chicago think they had a chance before shutting them down and bowling them out for 175.

The evening game on Sunday at Church Street Park saw the Manhattan Yorkers stay undefeated by handling the previously undefeated Atlanta Lightning, bowling them out for 134 while defending 165. The day game matched up The Philadelphians and New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers, and it involved the third super over of the weekend, which has to be some kind of record. This time, The Philadelphians batted last and had Foo and Plunkett in the middle for the last ball with Plunkett on strike. Plunkett hit a pull shot along the ground to deep square leg, and after getting the first run, he wanted to take off for another, but Foo shut it down to force the super over. The Philadelphians went with Kumar and Syed again, once again lost Kumar’s wicket, and sent in Foo. This time Foo was able to get 3 runs to match Syed’s 3 and set the target for New Jersey at 7 to win. Plunkett bowled this time for The Philadelphians, and he got Chanderpaul Hemraj to sky out to Foo on the boundary on the third ball. Richard Allen then came in and hit a ramp shot on a full toss to deep backward point. Allen went back for two but was deemed to have been run out to end the game with The Philadelphians ahead 6 to 4 in the super over. I never saw a good angle of the run out, but he looked safe to me. In any case, Liam Plunkett got a super over win to go with super over loss in his first two MiLC games.

On Monday morning, I hoped to wake up and see England attempt to finish their chase against India in their Test match, but by the time I opened my eyes, that match was over. They call what England is playing “Bazball,” after their new coach, Brendan McCullum of New Zealand. All I know is, it doesn’t work well with the Central Daylight Time zone when you score runs that fast. I decided to stay in and watch the Monday games on YouTube, since the matchups at Moosa, Dallas vs. Hollywood and East Bay vs. Lone Star, weren’t very tempting. Neither ended up being competitive (Dallas finished a chase of 65 in the 7th over and East Bay won by 38 runs) so that worked out, saving me some sunburn and heat stress.

The big game of the day, again, was at Church Street Park. The largest crowd of the weekend showed up on Monday morning at 11:30 for Morrisville’s game vs. 3-0 Manhattan. Milantha and Vinothkumar Kanduswamy, Morrisville’s opening batters, finally both had a good starts together, forming an 86-run partnership before Milantha succumbed in the 11th over. Pienaar came on and lasted along with Kanduswamy into the 15th over, but the real dynamo of the innings was Abhiram Bolisetty, an 18-year-old from nearby Cary, NC. He entered after Pienaar departed and belted 4 fours and 3 sixes en route to a 44 in only 22 balls before getting caught at the boundary with three balls left. The final total for Morrisville was 190, well above average, and a formidable target for Manhattan if they were to stay unbeaten.

Manhattan lost three wickets before the 6th over, which is usually a bad sign. The first six overs are called the Power Play. The fielding team must put all but two fielders inside a 30-yard circle around the pitch. This encourages big shots and high scores in those overs. If you manage to lose three wickets in those overs, your chances of winning drop significantly. Manhattan’s Bhaskar Yadram did his best to recover with 44 runs of 27 balls, but after he got out in the 14th over, only Abhiram Valisammagari, with 29 off 9, was able to match his firepower. Valisammagari perished at the end of the 19th over, and Manhattan fell agonizingly short by only 6 runs from knocking off the home team.

The other entertaining game on Monday was one-loss Golden State vs. the winless Chicago Blasters, which looked like it should have been a walkover on paper. The Blasters got a 50 from Fahad Babar, another Pakistani player, en route to a slightly above par 171. Golden State began the chase brilliantly behind Sami Aslam’s 56 off 47 and Karan Chandel’s 32 off 24. The Grizzlies experienced a drought of runs when Zia Muhammad Shahzad managed only 6 off 12, but Mohit Nataraj joined Aslam in the middle and reeled off 30 off 18 to get the run rate back up where it needed to be. It took until the 20th over to break the Blasters’ hearts, with Aditya Srinivas doing the honors with a four with only 5 balls remaining.

And so it was finally over – this piece and the weekend – believe me, what you felt reading it was what I felt watching it. My sports fatigue was at record levels, but I loved it. I don’t know what future this league holds, but if people would only give it a shot, they will become hooked like I have, I’m certain of it. There are very few sports experiences like it, other than maybe NFL Sunday Ticket, which of course is hugely popular. The funny thing is that next year, Major League Cricket, consisting of only six teams and with maybe one game per day, will start. Minor League Cricket will still be around, and if you ask me, I don’t see how you can top it as a cricket product. Major League Cricket will probably have better players, but being able to watch 10 or so games a day from all around the country, with different venues and atmospheres and different announcing teams is so much fun. I can’t wait for next weekend!