Exhibition series to promote Indian sub-continent’s favorite game in the USA
USA Cricket has approved the 2021 American Premiere League (APL), an exhibition series of matches to be held at the Yogi Berra baseball stadium in New Jersey between Sept. 20 and 30.
Organized and promoted by American Sports & Entertainment Group (ASEG), the APL’s primary objective is to promote Indian sub-continent’s favorite game in the USA.
It would also drive local fan engagement and increase the popularity of the sport in the New Jersey region through its unique team composition and competition structure, according to a media release.
As USA Cricket has entered into a long-term commercial agreement with Major League Cricket, APL has agreed to exclude any of the 450 players that have been already contracted to participate in Minor League Cricket.
ASEG Chairman, Jay Mir, said, “We are pleased that USA Cricket has endorsed our efforts to promote cricket in the USA through its approval of the APL in 2021.
“We recognize that cricket is taking significant steps forward under USA Cricket’s leadership, and that its recent partnership with Major League Cricket (MLC) and the launch of Minor League Cricket has helped to put in place a robust nationwide domestic structure and pathway around which the future of the sport can be built.”
“Out of respect for those efforts, and in recognition of USA Cricket’s prior exclusive arrangement with MLC, APL has agreed, among other things, that its event will not include any of the 450 players that have been already contracted to participate in MiLC,” he says.
“But it will include former international players and provide opportunities to other local domestic players, as well as creating specific slots within the team rosters for talented youngsters.”
USA Cricket has entered into a long-term commercial agreement with Major League Cricket, which has agreed to invest, among other things, in the development of stadia, other cricketing infrastructure, the USA national teams, and in staging annual Major League Cricket and Minor League Cricket Twenty20 events, the release said.
In return for that investment, USA Cricket granted to MLC exclusivity to operate its events as the premier Twenty20 competitions in the United States.
Although the 2021 APL is scheduled to briefly overlap with the Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship from July 31to Oct 3, the format and schedule proposed for the APL has been designed not to compete with either Minor League Cricket or Major League Cricket, it said.
USA Cricket Chief Executive, Iain Higgins said APL had been sanctioned “on the explicit understanding that it is not seeking to compete with Minor League Cricket or Major League Cricket, but rather to provide an exclusive entertainment experience that can help to promote the sport of cricket to new and existing fans within the New Jersey region.”
“The continuing evolution of our sanctioning progress is helping us to develop a more coordinated domestic cricketing structure that will provide increased playing opportunities to players across the country,” he said.
“It will ensure that other events like the APL, when structured correctly, can help to play a complementary role to the efforts of USA Cricket and MLC in growing the game across the country,” Higgins said.