All Things Cricket: March 31st

  • I figured I better do one for IPL Opening Day. Defending champs Gujarat chased Chennai’s 178 with four balls remaining. Rahul Tewatia ended the proceedings with a six to mid-off and a four down the ground. The IPL is back on Willow in the US for this year and the following three years, which means no new US fans will ever watch it in that time. Good job, BCCI!
  • What else has happened lately? Lots! I’ll start with the MLC domestic player draft, held at Space Center Houston right in my neighborhood. Harmeet Singh was the first overall pick, by the Seattle Orcas. He played for the defending MiLC champion Seattle Thunderbolts in 2022, and probably will again, because MiLC will be played around MLC, which starts on July 17. Mumbai Indians New York, which won the world’s dumbest sports team name by acclimation, went for six Team USA players, while the San Francisco Unicorns drafted both Corey Anderson and Liam Plunkett to nail down fans who couldn’t get enough of the 2019 World Cup (Anderson didn’t actually play in it but he was on a New Zealand contract at one time). Other teams include the Texas Super Kings, LA Knight Riders, and Washington Freedom. The teams will spend the next three months securing overseas players in a free market system. They will have to field five of the nine players they drafted in this draft in every XI. All MLC games will be played at either Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, a still-under-construction facility being converted from an old minor league baseball park, in Grand Prairie, TX outside of Dallas, or another site, which we think will be Church Street Park in Morrisville, NC. The league will culminate in a final played on July 30th.
  • The WPL was a huge success, with Harmanpreet Kaur’s Mumbai Indians (the only one in the MI family with a good name) being crowned champions after they beat Meg Lanning’s Delhi Capitals in the final. I can’t wait for this league to expand to more teams and more games. It was the pinnacle of women’s cricket in every way, and it will only get better.
  • More USA stuff – they are down in Namibia playing the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifying Playoff. If they finish in the top two, they get…something. Even the ICC isn’t sure. They won their opener against the hosts and then lost a dispiriting game against Canada when they only needed 199 to win and couldn’t come close. Then they beat UAE with a record run chase for them, 279, with an over to spare. Sai Mukkamalla, drafted by the Texas Super Kings with their designated U23 pick (he’s 18) top-scored with a spectacular 120*. The USA need to beat PNG and Jersey to secure the second spot behind Canada, and … something. We’ll let you know when the ICC finds out.
  • There was a bunch of other stuff since the last one of these, but I forgot all of them. Enlighten me in the comments!