Ahead of the July launch of the Major League Cricket and merely two days after the draft, a dispute between USA Cricket and the league organisers has reached the ICC's doors.
New Delhi: Just days after a historic Major League Cricket (MLC) draft in Houston, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has shot an email to its members and urged them to not issue NOCs (No Objection Certificate) to its players for MLC and MiLC (Minor League Cricket).
During the 19 March draft, plenty of current and former international stars such as Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Quinton De Kock, Mitchell Marsh, Wanindu Hasranga, Anrich Nortje were picked by the teams for the tournament scheduled for 13-30 July.
ICC has “disapproved” the MLC and MiLC competitions, which were being looked as revolutionary for cricket in the region. Additionally, USA Cricket has not sanctioned the league either.
MLC and MiLC are administered by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE), which signed a 50-year commercial rights agreement with USA Cricket in 2019.
ICC expects US Cricket to resolve internal mess; may allot India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup game
It does, however, nudge the cricket body in USA to set their house in order before similar treatment is meted out to their 2024 T20 World Cup 2024 co-hosting plans.
At the ICC quarterly meeting earlier this month, USA Cricket bought time to resolve their internal mess by appointing an interim elected body to host matches for the marquee event next year.
“To think that a World Cup had been allotted here (ICC insists USA are ‘co-hosts’) is even more terrible to hear. Where’s the local cricket board? Where’s the infrastructure? Who are the people responsible for running the affairs here?,” said those in the knowing.
USA Cricket Interim CEO resigns
Earlier this week, USAC Interim CEO Vinay Bhimjiani, who replaced Iain Higgins, resigned after just five months in the role. Search for Bhimjiani’s replacement is already underway with the chair sitting vacant for now.
Read | Start of T20 league in US with IPL investment likely to change cricketing ecosystem
“The USA Cricket Board has confirmed that the USAC Interim CEO, Mr. Vinay Bhimjiani, has resigned effective immediately to pursue other personal opportunities. Mr. Bhimjiani served as Interim CEO for approximately 5 months,” USAC said in a statement.
Need for structure
Early lessons after the MLC draft point towards a desperate need of order in USA Cricket. If the association wants to pull off something as big as the T20 World Cup and a possible India-Pakistan fixture, things need to head in the right direction and all stakeholders must align.
There are continuous questions being raised on 2024 T20 World Cup fixtures being allotted to the USA – a region clearly underprepared – and the roadblocks which MLC is hitting right after the draft are not encouraging.
After a Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting of the ICC on Saturday, it was decided that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will continue to remain primary hosts of the tournament and matches will be allotted to the United States.
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