The first season of Major League Cricket (MLC) was a huge success, with talented American players rubbing shoulders with some of the stalwarts of international cricket. The games were well received by fans, and cricket enthusiasts are hoping that this is just the first step towards a bright future for cricket in the USA.
After a little more than a couple of weeks of intense action, MI New York emerged victorious in the final as they defeated Seattle Orcas by seven wickets. The game was won on the back of a blistering century from stand-in captain and West Indian wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran.
Satya Nadella, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft and co-owner of runners-up Seattle Orcas, is quite happy with how the six-team tournament panned out. Nadella said that he is hopeful that the league will help in attracting new fans to the sport.
“Sport unites people and it breaks down walls. The US is the sports market of the world. It’s fantastic to see cricket come here. I hope we can attract a lot of new fans to the game,” the 55-year-old said in a release. Nadella also expressed his joy after bowling the first delivery of the final: “I am glad I had the chance to deliver the opening ball. The ball actually spun and it was on the middle stump. I am thrilled about it.”
CEOs & Cricket 🏏
Satya Nadella, Chairman & CEO of Microsoft, and Krishna Sudheendra, CEO of UST Global, took the field ahead of the #MLCFinal#SOvMINY #SeattleOrcas #MajorLeagueCricket #UST #lifeatUST pic.twitter.com/YKxXx4t7eZ
— Seattle Orcas (@MLCSeattleOrcas) July 31, 2023
Satya Nadella, who was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, stated that Mumbai versus Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy was the first cricket encounter he watched. He also revealed that he is a big fan of the Indian cricket team.
Microsoft CEO explained, “The first-ever cricket game I watched was a Ranji Trophy match between Bombay and Hyderabad. I am a big Indian cricket team fan and I am a fan of whoever has been helping us win over the years.”
Seattle Orcas had a memorable campaign in MLC 2023 as they won five out of the seven matches they played in the competition, eventually finishing runner-up. The success of the first season of MLC is a major step forward for cricket in the USA. With the backing of big names like Satya Nadella, the league is well-positioned to continue to grow and attract new fans in the years to come.