Minor League Cricket (MiLC) today announced a partnership with Toyota to sponsor its inaugural championship season in 2021. The Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship will be presented by SLING TV, with games set to begin on July 31. More than $4,000,000 has been invested by Minor League Cricket and its 27 team owners into staging the tournament, the most extensive competition to ever take place in American cricket.
The Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship will feature ten weekends of competitive play in the Twenty20 format loved by cricket fans around the world, culminating in a finals weekend on Oct. 2-3. Total prize money of $250,000 for the competition represents the largest purse in American cricket.
Twenty-seven participating teams will compete for the championship across four geographic divisions – Eastern, Central, Southern and Western – with over 200 games set to take place in 21 cities nationwide.
“We’re honored to be part of the first-ever Minor League Cricket season and to help support the growth of the sport as it embarks on its most extensive competition to ever take place in the United States,” said Matt Ozawa, manager, asset management and activation, Toyota Motor North America. “We look forward to joining the league, its athletes, cricket lovers and Toyota fans across the country for a historic inaugural championship season.”
We are delighted to partner with Toyota, a global brand committing to support the growth of American cricket, a sport loved by millions of supporters in the United States,” said Justin Geale, Tournament Director for Major League Cricket. “The sport is on an incredible growth trajectory domestically as we build towards the launch of Major League Cricket and adding both Toyota and SLING TV as partners in Minor League Cricket shows there has never been a more promising future for cricket in this country.”
“SLING TV is thrilled to partner with Minor League Cricket and help grow the game’s national audience,” commented Liz Riemersma, Vice-President – International for SLING TV. “Because SLING TV offers streaming services for both American and international channels, we are primed to not only introduce American cricket to our existing cricket fan base but also to American audiences.”
Team rosters have already been announced for the 27 MiLC teams and feature the strongest talent available in American cricket. Each team features a selection of marquee players, priority domestic players, and a required number of U21 and U19 players.
Minor League Cricket is the only nationwide tournament involving the strongest male players playing against each other at the best available facilities and forms a critical part of the evolving USA Cricket domestic cricket structure and pathway. The primary aim of the tournament is to give a platform and opportunity for the best cricketers in America to showcase their abilities at a national level and build cricket in communities across the country.
“The scale and level of competition that Minor League Cricket will launch with this summer will help build the pathway to develop young, talented cricketers across the nation into future national team stars,” said USA Cricket CEO Iain Higgins. “Minor League Cricket, with the important support of Toyota and SLING TV, provides a tremendous step forward towards achieving the vision of making cricket a mainstream sport in the United States outlined in USA Cricket’s Foundational Plan.”