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Major League Cricket: 2024 schedule, teams, how to watch, format, rules & history

The second season in the history of Major League Cricket gets underway on July 5, less than a week after the United States and Caribbean-based T20 Cricket World Cup ended.

MLC's fans, players, coaches and team owners will hope it can ride the momentum of Team USA's impressive display in the World Cup.

Here, we have all you need to know about Major League Cricket.

Major League Cricket format and rules

Major League Cricket is a T20 league, which is the shortest format of cricket. Games usually take 3-4 hours to complete, as each team has 120 balls (the equivalent of pitches in baseball) to score as many runs as possible.

T20 stands for Twenty20. The number 20 is significant because each team bats for 20 overs. An over is a group of six balls, and teams must change their bowler after each over - a bowler can bowl a maximum of four overs in a T20 match.

The team to bat first is decided by a coin toss. The winner of the toss can decide whether to bat or bowl first.

The first team to bat finishes batting when the first of these two things happen: the team faces all 120 balls, or it has 10 batters get out.

The second team to bat, sometimes referred to as the chasing team, has up to 120 balls to beat the score of the team that batted first. The second team will stop batting once they reach the target score, face all 120 balls, or have 10 batters get out.

Batters are out when a fielding player catches a batted ball in the air, when a bowler bowls the ball past the batter and hits the stump behind the batter, when a bowled ball hits the batters' leg as long as the leg is blocking the stump - called Leg Before Wicket (LBW) - and when a fielder hits the stump with the ball while the batter is outside of the batting crease.

Also, when watching cricket, the word "wicket" comes up a lot, and it can mean different things depending on context. A batter who gets out has their wicket taken, a bowler takes a wicket when he gets a batter out, and both the stumps behind the batter and the 22-yard patch of grass where batting and bowling happen can both be called a wicket.

Major League Cricket 2024 schedule

The 2024 Major League Cricket season begins on July 5.

Two games will be played on opening day. The defending champions MI New York will face the Seattle Orcas in a rematch of the 2023 final, and the Los Angeles Knight Riders will take on the Texas Super Kings.

After opening day, one match will be played per day until the final regular season game on July 23.

The playoffs begin on July 24, and the championship game is July 28.

How to watch Major League Cricket, TV channel and streaming

All Major League Cricket games will be streamed on Willow TV, which has the American broadcast rights to air most major cricket competitions.

Select matches will be broadcast on regional sports networks, including the greater New York area's YES Network.

Major League Cricket 2024 teams

Los Angeles Knight Riders

  • Finished last in 2023 season
  • Key players: Sunil Narine (captain), Andre Russell, David Miller, Alex Carey, Jason Roy, Nitish Kumar, Shadley Van Schalkwyk
  • Owned by the same group that owns the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League
  • Sunil Narine won IPL MVP in the 2024 season

MI New York

  • Won the inaugural MLC Championship in 2023 season
  • Key Players: Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (captain), Anrich Nortje, Rashid Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Romario Shepherd, Steven Taylor, Tim David, Trent Boult
  • Nicholas Pooran set the record for highest individual score with 137 runs from 55 balls in the 2023 Championship game, which earned him the league's first Championship MVP award
  • Bowler Trent Boult had took the most wickets in the 2023 season with 22, twice the number of wickets as the closest bowler
  • Owned by the same company that owns the Mumbai Indians of the IPL

San Francisco Unicorns

  • Finished fifth in 2023 season
  • Key Players: Pat Cummins, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Finn Allen, Abrar Ahmed, Liam Plunkett, Sherfane Rutherford, Corey Anderson (captain), Haris Rauf
  • Signed bowler and former Australia captain Pat Cummins ahead of the 2024 season
  • Jake Fraser-McGurk finished tied for ninth in sixes hit during the recent IPL season with 28

Seattle Orcas

  • Finished as runners up in the 2023 season
  • Key Players: Quinton De Kock, Nandre Burger, Obed McCoy, Heinrich Klaasen, Aaron Jones, Zaman Khan, Imad Wasim, Ryan Rickelton
  • Lost in the final to MI New York - Seattle batted first and posted 183 runs and New York completed the run chase with 24 balls remaining
  • Bowlers Cameron Gannon and Imad Wasim took 11 and 10 wickets, respectively, in the 2023 season which put them in the top five league-wide
  • Aaron Jones, Heinrich Klaasen and Quinton De Kock hit 14, 13 and 13 sixes respectively in the recent T20 World Cup

Texas Super Kings

  • Eliminated in the semifinals in the playoffs of the 2023 season
  • Key Players: Faf Du Plessis (captain), Noor Ahmad, Devon Conway, Aiden Markram, Daryl Mitchell, Naveen Ul-Haq, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Santner
  • Devon Conway finished fourth in runs scored in the 2023 season with 221

Washington Freedom

  • Eliminated in the semifinals in the playoffs of the 2023 season
  • Key Players: Lockie Ferguson, Travis Head, Andries Gous, Akeal Hosein, Glenn Maxwell, Saurabh Netravalkar, Marco Jansen, Steven Smith
  • Saurabh Netravalkar, Team USA's best bowler at the recent World Cup who has a full-time job as a software engineer, took the joint-third-most wickets in the 2023 season with 10
  • Travis Head and Andries Gous were among the leaders in sixes hit at the recent T20 World Cup with 14 and 11 respectively

Major League Cricket history

The first season of Major League Cricket was played in 2023, and MI New York won the championship.

Nicholas Pooran, one of the world's best batters and wicketkeepers (similar to a catcher in baseball), won player of the series with 388 runs in eight matches and a high score of 137 runs, which he achieved in the final of the tournament.

Pooran's 34 sixes - which is when a player hits the ball beyond the boundary without it touching the ground and is worth six runs - were more than twice as many as the player with the second-most sixes in the 2023 season.

For his effort, Pooran won the Player of the Series and Championship MVP Awards.

Trent Boult, Pooran's MI New York teammate, took 22 wickets which was double the player with the second-most wickets taken in the league's inaugural campaign.

Harmeet Singh of the Seattle Orcas had the best bowler economy of 4.58 runs allowed per over.

All games in the 2023 season were played at Church Street Park in Morrisville, North Carolina and at Grand Prairie Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas, and that will continue for the 2024 season.

Grand Prairie Stadium is the Texas Super Kings' home stadium, and four of the five teams currently without home grounds have plans to build their own.

The 2024 season will continue with the six founding teams who competed in MLC's inaugural campaign.

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