SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 17, 2023) – San Francisco will have a team in the inaugural Major League Cricket (MLC) season this summer, and now it has a name and logo. The Bay Area team will be called the San Francisco Unicorns, with the orange, light blue and navy blue colors from their team mark evoking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, respectively. The Unicorns will be one of six teams competing in MLC, featuring world class players in a historic competition to take place in July.
“The San Francisco Bay Area is home to a vibrant cricket-playing community as well as passionate cricket lovers from diverse backgrounds. It’s a privilege for the Unicorns to represent this amazing region in the historic inaugural Major League Cricket season this summer,” said Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan, lead investors in the San Francisco team. “The Bay Area is home to exceptionally talented people and companies that have changed the world. The term Unicorn has been used in popular culture to denote exceptional talent or potential, whether it be a sportsperson or a Silicon Valley startup. Our San Francisco Unicorns have a fittingly extraordinary opportunity to represent all the fans of the world’s second-largest sport in the Bay Area.”
The Unicorns will play for the first time this season at an MLC venue made exclusively for cricket – Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie, TX within the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. The 2023 season will feature 19 matches to be played over 18 days, starting July 13 and building up to the first-ever MLC championship final to take place on July 30. The Unicorns will compete alongside teams representing Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Texas and Washington D.C. playing the explosive Twenty20 (T20) format of the game, with matches typically lasting three hours.
The roster for the Unicorns will be filled out in the next week, with multiple marquee overseas stars to be announced. The top domestic-based players will be selected at the MLC Domestic Player Draft on Sunday, March 19 in Houston, TX. Space Center Houston, the official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, will provide an iconic venue and backdrop for the league’s first-ever draft. Fans can follow the draft live via a special show to be broadcast on the MLC Network YouTube channel.
“The Bay Area is famous for serving as a launchpad for some of the world’s most successful companies, so it is fitting for us to welcome the San Francisco Unicorns for the inaugural season of Major League Cricket this summer – itself a transformative venture for the sport in the United States,” said Justin Geale, MLC Tournament Director.
San Francisco has partnered with one of the world’s leading cricket entities, Australia’s Cricket Victoria, to prepare the team for on-field success during the inaugural season of MLC. Cricket Victoria representatives will be in attendance at the MLC Player Draft, as they assist in compiling a talented squad for the Unicorns ahead of MLC’s inaugural season.
While San Francisco will not host home matches in the 2023 season, MLC and the Unicorns are aiming to build a world-class home for the team in the Bay Area. Feasibility studies for a development on a 14-acre site on the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San José are currently underway in partnership with Santa Clara County. The stadium would seat 6-8,000 fans and be capable of hosting major international cricket events. Other plans for the complex include state-of-the-art training facilities, locker rooms, luxury suites, dedicated parking and an international grade pitch to meet International Cricket Council accreditation.