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Updated Jul 13, 2023, 2:39pm EDT
South Asia

Cricket and baseball are intruding on each other’s turf

Australia's Mitchell Starc in action against England.
Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
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The News

Big-league cricket has officially come to the U.S.

The inaugural season of Major League Cricket launches in Grand Prairie, Texas on Thursday, with teams representing six U.S. cities competing in tournament-style competition.

And while India’s most popular sport expands in the U.S., Major League Baseball is looking to make its own inroads in India.

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We’ve curated the most insightful analysis about the global growth of both sports.

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Insights

  • MLB, the professional organization overseeing America’s pastime, is hiring to create a new Indian video series to “grow baseball and the MLB brand in India,” Front Office Sports reported. Job postings classify India as an “exciting growth market” for baseball.
  • The league is also promoting the ascent of Arjun Nimmala, a 17-year-old whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from India. He grew up playing some cricket before pivoting to baseball, and was just picked in the first round of the MLB draft. No first-generation Indian American has ever been drafted that high in any of the four major sports in the U.S.
  • As for Major League Cricket, the sport’s global governing body is “desperate to lift its sport’s profile in America,” The Guardian reported, noting that the league has firm financial support from prominent Indian American tech executives like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and a solid roster of players. But at times, “it can feel difficult to imagine how this experiment might succeed,” The Guardian notes. “Talking to Americans about cricket is usually about as easy as explaining climate change to a ferret.
  • A past iteration of professional cricket tried to get off the ground in the U.S. years ago, but unlike this one, it didn’t have the backing of national or international governing bodies, The Times of India noted. The coach of New York’s new cricket team said the sport will speak to ”the American sporting psyche where the players are a lot more physical, fitter, stronger, hit the ball further.”
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