Major League Cricket Draft

Local And Overseas Stars Signed For Inaugural MLC Season

News March 20, 2023 admin

Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh was picked up by Seattle Orcas. Photo courtesy of Major League Cricket

HOUSTON, TX (March 20, 2023) – Harmeet Singh made history on Sunday night in Houston by being named the first pick of the Major League Cricket (MLC) draft when the six MLC franchises converged at Space Center Houston to make their domestic picks and announced big international signings as the historic 2023 season prepares to take flight. Singh was selected by the Seattle Orcas, who unveiled their name and logo earlier this week.

Singh, a 30-year-old all-rounder who bowls left-arm off spin, has played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was on the India U-19 squad that won the 2012 World Cup, along with leading the Seattle Thunderbolts to the 2022 Minor League Cricket championship.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Singh said. “And also nervous at the same time. I played in Seattle in the Minor League. Now Major League Cricket. It can’t get better for me.”

The Seattle Orcas, Washington Freedom, MI New York, San Francisco Unicorns, Los Angeles Knight Riders and Texas (team name still to be announced) each made nine picks with some teams announcing major international signings during the two-hour event.

The major signings: Former Australia one-day international captain Aaron Finch and Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis will join San Francisco, South Africa fast bowler Anrich Nortje and Sri Lanka legbreak bowler Wanindu Hasaranga will play for Washington and former South Africa captain and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock as well as hard-hitting Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh signed for Seattle.

The domestic draft Sunday night consisted of nine rounds of selections from players who are in the domestic player pool.

Washington selected wicketkeeper Andries Gous with the second pick. Gous recently played in Abu Dhabi’s T10 league.

MI New York selected USA international batter Steven Taylor with the third pick, San Francisco selected former New Zealand international and batsman Corey Anderson fourth, Los Angeles Knight Riders selected star USA Cricket bowler Ali Khan and Texas picked fast bowler Rusty Theron, who has played for multiple IPL teams, with its first pick in the first round.

Several other big names were selected in the Major League Cricket draft: Unmukt Chand, who captained the India U-19 team to the 2012 World Cup, joined Los Angeles in the second round; Liam Plunkett, a star bowler for the England team that won the 2019 World Cup, joins San Francisco, and former Pakistan international Hammed Azam was taken by MI New York.

Steven Taylor in helmet
Steven Taylor, an American born player was selected by Mumbai Indians New York. CWI Media/Randy Brooks of Brooks LaTouche Photography

The 2023 MLC season starts July 13 in a brand-new cricket-specific venue – Grand Prairie Stadium – in Grand Prairie, Texas. Teams will play the explosive Twenty20 (T20) format of the game, with matches typically lasting three hours. The regular season will consist of five games, with each team playing each other once, followed by a playoff round and the championship on July 30.

Teams will announce more big-name international signings as they become official, and each squad has a chance to pick another domestic player in early July based on performances in the Minor League Cricket season.

Here are your first nine roster picks for the six founding MLC teams who will take the pitch this summer in the inaugural MLC season.

Seattle Orcas
Round 1: Harmeet Singh, all-rounder | Age: 30
Round 2: Shehan Jayasuriya, batter | Age: 31
Round 3: Shubham Ranjane, all-rounder | Age: 28
Round 4: Cameron Gannon, all-rounder | Age: 34
Round 5: Aaron Jones, batter | Age: 28
Round 6: Nauman Anwar, batter | Age: 27
Round 7: Phani Simhadri, bowler | Age: 31
Round 8: Angelo Perera, batter | Age: 33
Round 9: Matthew Tromp, bowler | Age: 17

Washington Freedom
Round 1: Andries Gous, wicket keeper/batter | Age: 29
Round 2: Mukhtar Ahmed, batter | Age: 30
Round 3: Obus Pienaar, batter | Age: 33
Round 4: Saurabh Netravalkar, bowler | Age: 31
Round 5: Saad Ali, batter | Age: 29
Round 6: Dane Piedt, bowler | Age: 33
Round 7: Sujith Gowda, batter | Age: 26
Round 8: Justin Dill, bowler | Age: 28
Round 9: Akhilesh Bodugum, bowler | Age: 22

MI New York
Round 1: Steven Taylor, Batter | Age: 29
Round 2: Hammad Azam, all-rounder | Age: 32
Round 3: Ehsan Adil, bowler | Age: 30
Round 4: Nosthush Kenjige, bowler | Age: 32
Round 5: Monank Patel, wicket keeper/batter | Age: 29
Round 6: Sarbjeet Singh Ladda, bowler | Age: 36
Round 7: Shayan Jahangir, wicket keeper/batter | Age: 31
Round 8: Kyle Phillip, bowler | Age: 26
Round 9: Saideep Ganesh, wicket keeper/batter | Age: 22

San Francisco Unicorns
Round 1: Corey Anderson, all-rounder | Age: 32
Round 2: Liam Plunkett, bowler | Age: 37
Round 3: Tajinder Singh, batter | Age: 30
Round 4: Chaitanya Bishnoi, batter | Age: 28
Round 5: Carmi Le Roux, bowler | Age: 29
Round 6: Brody Couch, bowler | Age: 23
Round 7: David White, batter | Age: 31
Round 8: Smit Patel, wicket keeper/batter | Age: 29
Round 9: Sanjay Krishnamurthi, all-rounder | Age: 19

Los Angeles Knight Riders
Round 1: Ali Khan, bowler | Age: 32
Round 2: Unmukt Chand, batter | Age: 29
Round 3: Jaskaran Malhotra, batter | Age: 33
Round 4: Nitish Kumar, batter | Age: 28
Round 5: Corne Dry, bowler | Age: 30
Round 6: Ali Sheikh, all-rounder | Age: 20
Round 7: Saif Badar, batter | Age: 24
Round 8: Shadley Van Schalkwyk, all-rounder | Age: 34
Round 9: Bhaskar Yadram, all-rounder | Age: 23

Round 1: Rusty Theron, bowler | Age: 37
Round 2: Calvin Savage, all-rounder | Age: 30
Round 3: Lahiru Milantha, wicket keeper/batter | Age: 28
Round 4: Milind Kumar, batter | Age: 32
Round 5: Sami Aslam, batter | Age: 27
Round 6: Cameron Stevenson, bowler | Age: 30
Round 7: Cody Chetty, batter | Age: 31
Round 8: Zia Shahzad, all-rounder | Age: 26
Round 9: Saiteja Mukkamalla, batter | Age: 18