USA Cricket closes in on T20 league following ACE partnership

The American Cricket governing body, USA Cricket has strengthened its partnership with American Cricket Enterprises (ACE), as the formation process of the professional T20 cricket league in the United States continues.

Proposals for a U.S.-based T20 professional league first began in November 2018, with the unveiling of this strategic partnership USA Cricket’s vision of bringing professional cricket to the world’s largest sports market becomes far more realistic.

The deal with ACE represents a significant step forward for USA Cricket, with the firm backed by Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, the founders of Willow TV, the largest cricket broadcaster in North America.

Paraag Marathe, USA Cricket Board Chairman commented: “USA Cricket is excited to partner with ACE to launch a professional cricket league in the United States and I thank the board for their hard work and thoughtful deliberation throughout this process.

“Vijay, Sameer, Satyan and Vineet provided a vision for the growth of cricket in the U.S. on all levels, and we’re confident they will create a world class T20 league here in America. This is a watershed moment for cricket in the United States and we look forward to a long-lasting, successful partnership.”

The launch of the new professional league will be slated for 2021 and ACE has commenced major infrastructure investment towards international grade cricket venues in several U.S. metropolitan markets.

ACE is also working to develop additional turf cricket pitches and auxiliary facilities in more than a dozen locations. Based on a major and minor professional league model, the new facilities will provide, for the first time ever in the U.S., the ability to stage and support major domestic and international cricket at all levels.

In addition, ACE will provide support for USA Cricket’s men’s and women’s national teams to ensure they can capitalise on their recent successes at the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 and the ICC Women’s Americas Qualifier, respectively.

Focused on staging the highest quality T20 cricket for U.S. cricket fans, the league will feature top international players from the U.S. and around the world, combined with a focus on pathways to develop a homegrown player pool for USACricket and the league. A major component of ACE’s plans are the developmental academies around the country that will be aligned to the league teams and will help foster and develop talent at the youth levels to ensure a strong pipeline of cricket players of the highest caliber.

Satyan Gajwani of The Times of India Group added: “Cricket has the second largest audience in the world, and yet has little presence in the largest professional sports market.

“We want to develop a lasting institution that brings to the U.S. the excitement and passion of cricket, enjoyed by billions of people globally. True grassroots development of any sport takes decades and we are excited and committed to play a role in developing world-class cricket in America.”