Former England pitcher Liam Plunkett thinks Major League Cricket (MLC) can overtake the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the second-most watched T20 franchise competition. According to the Yorkshire bowler, America takes the MLC very seriously.
On July 14, 2023, the MLC’s first season got underway with a match between the Texas Super Kings and the Los Angeles Knight Riders. The former won easily, defeating the latter by 69 runs after scoring 181 in 20 overs.
Plunkett, who will play for the San Francisco Unicorns, told BBC Sport that the MLC has enormous potential and that there is no bigger market to promote cricket than the United States. He stated:
It might be directly above and behind the IPL. It will be challenging to surpass the IPL, but the MLC is being taken seriously, and America is the largest sports market in the world. Check the location of that ceiling. The exciting thing is that no one knows, thus it is unknown. There is enormous potential.
Americans go above and above when they are enthused about something. They are fervent, much like the Indians. These players’ arrival demonstrates intense excitement. They want to be here because it might be really big if it takes off.
The IPL has undoubtedly become the most-watched T20 franchise event in the world, and each year, its viewership grows exponentially.
Liam Plunkett on the country vs. franchise debate: “It is difficult
Plunkett, who last represented England during the 2019 World Cup, reflected on the contentious country vs. franchise argument and proposed that it depends on the players’ priorities. The man, who was 38, said:
Depending on the specifics of the contract scenario, it is difficult. It might be contradictory if you feel underpaid for playing for England and a competition comes up that pays twice as much as your contract. At the end of the day, you play cricket for enjoyment, but the prize money is similar to that of boxing. Even though it helps you pay the bills, you play because you love it.
At the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas, the San Francisco Unicorns will take on the Mumbai Indians in New York.
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