Hundreds of players are battling to sign the best players due to the planned expansion of the Twenty20 franchise tournament in the US… with stars earning nearly £200,000 more in the MLC
- The first edition of the MLC is scheduled to take place in Texas and North Carolina in July
- A team have held talks with Australian star Steve Smith to play next year
- There is a general strategy of targeting those who played in the Hundred
The ECB is struggling to recruit the best players in the world for the Cent from next year due to a planned expansion of Major League Cricket to the United States.
The inaugural edition of MLC, the newest Twenty20 franchise tournament, is set to take place over three weekends in Texas and North Carolina in July, but Mail Sport can reveal it is planned to expand into next year until August and straddle the Hundred, the ECB. flagship event.
The next T20 World Cup – which England hold – will be co-hosted by the United States and the West Indies in June 2024, and MLC organizers are hoping to capitalize on the interest by staging a longer version of their competition soon after.
MLC has already signed up international big names Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and Quinton de Kock for this summer’s launch, with more overseas stars to follow.
There are six franchises – in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas and Washington – one of which has held talks with Australian star Steve Smith to play next summer. There is a general strategy for targeting those who have played in the Hundred.
Bowler Liam Plunkett is the only Englishman to commit to this year’s MLC so far
With four of the six teams owned by IPL franchises and the other two backed by Australian states, MLC is more lucrative than the Hundred.
Players can earn £300,000 in MLC, compared to a maximum rate of £125,000 for a one-month contract in England.
The Hundred already faces an uncertain future. As Mail Sport revealed, the ECB is in talks with the counties to replace it with a new T20 tournament called the English Premier League.
The ECB is aware of the threat posed by the MLC and has responded by seeking to prevent English players from registering.
World Cup winners Jason Roy and Alex Hales have attracted interest from MLC franchises this year but have yet to sign, with the ECB showing reluctance to sign the no-objection certificate required to release them from the duties of the county.
MLC organizers have reportedly retaliated by trying to discourage franchises from signing English players, a move that will only intensify competition for overseas stars.
As a result, Liam Plunkett is the only Englishman to commit to the MLC so far this summer, with the former England bowler already a resident of the United States.