Major League Cricket (MLC) kicked off its maiden season from July 13 to 31, 2023, showcasing six teams representing major U.S. cities: Texas Super Kings, Seattle Orcas, Los Angeles Knight Riders, Washington Freedom, MI New York, and San Francisco Unicorns. Employing a single round-robin format, each team faced off against the others once.
The conclusion of the regular season saw the top four teams progressing to the playoffs, involving a Challenger match, Qualifier, and the ultimate showdown.
Surprisingly, MI New York overcame expectations to emerge victorious in the inaugural MLC season, reaching the final and clinching the title. The league’s debut season witnessed impressive attendance figures, earning acclaim from both fans and the media.
With ambitions to expand to eight teams in 2024 and eventually ten teams by 2025, MLC is poised for continued growth.
Highlighting the premier run-scorers from the inaugural season, here are the top 5 performers:
Nicholas Pooran – 388 Runs
Dominating the scene in the inaugural MLC season was Nicholas Pooran, who earned the prestigious title of Player of the Tournament. His phenomenal batting amassed a total of 533 runs across 12 matches, boasting an impressive average of 44.42 and an astounding strike rate of 155.10.
Pooran’s remarkable performance included 10 half-centuries and a century, the highest individual score for the season. His pivotal role in the playoffs was pivotal, as he secured 60 runs in the Challenger match, 75 runs in the Qualifier, and an unbeaten 137 in the final. His centurion display in the final is etched as one of MLC’s most memorable moments.
Quinton de Kock – 264 Runs
Renowned South African T20 specialist Quinton de Kock illuminated the tournament with his sublime skills. A linchpin for Seattle Orcas, de Kock tallied 264 runs from 7 matches, maintaining an average of 44 and an impressive strike rate of 151.72. Displaying his prowess with three half-centuries, de Kock’s standout performance guided Seattle Orcas to the tournament’s climactic finale.
Even in the ultimate encounter, de Kock’s masterful 87 off 52 balls, at a strike rate of 167.31, was a valiant effort, although it fell short as Seattle Orcas narrowly missed out on the title.
Heinrich Klaasen – 235 Runs
Heinrich Klaasen sparkled in the inaugural MLC season, securing the third-highest run tally in the tournament. His explosive batting amassed 235 runs in 7 matches, boasting a remarkable average of 58.75 and a sizzling strike rate of 197.47. With one century and a half-century to his credit, Klaasen’s contributions proved pivotal to Seattle Orcas’ batting lineup, further bolstered by his fielding prowess.
As an all-round cricketing force, Klaasen’s magnetic gameplay has earned him a reputation as one of the most electrifying players on the global stage.
Devon Conway – 221 Runs
Representing Texas Super Kings, Devon Conway emerged as the fourth-highest run-scorer in the tournament. Accumulating 221 runs from 12 matches, Conway exhibited a stellar average of 50.33 and an effective strike rate of 140.59. His consistent performances posed a significant challenge to every bowler, bolstering Texas Super Kings’ batting lineup.
Conway’s impactful displays resonated with fans, contributing to the game’s expansion in the United States and attracting a new wave of enthusiasts.
Tim David – 209 Runs
Tim David etched his name with distinction in the debut MLC season, securing the fifth-highest run total. His impressive tally of 209 runs over 8 matches translated to an average of 52.25, coupled with a dynamic strike rate of 167.20. Instrumental to MI New York’s triumph in the final, David’s critical contribution included three consecutive sixes in four balls, a decisive factor in their stunning victory over Seattle Orcas.