Home » Cricket 2024: Steve Smith playing Major League Cricket, cricket in America, T20 World Cup in Caribbean and United States, Glenn Maxwell, Ricky Ponting, Travis Head

Cricket 2024: Steve Smith playing Major League Cricket, cricket in America, T20 World Cup in Caribbean and United States, Glenn Maxwell, Ricky Ponting, Travis Head

Steve Smith will make his return to the crease along two Australian stars in the United States less than a week after the final of the T20 World Cup he was overlooked for is decided in the Caribbean.

The former Australian captain will be joined by World Cup-bound teammates Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head when the Washington Freedom play NI New York on July 6, a day after the month-long tournament begins.

The ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2015 fell short of convincing selectors he could prove a matchwinner in the T20 World Cup being hosted by the West Indies and the United States in June as Australia seeks to create history in the tournament.

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – FEBRUARY 25: Steve Smith of Australia looks on ahead of game three of the Men’s T20 International series between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park on February 25, 2024 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Australia is seeking to become the first nation to be crowned champions in all three formats of cricket at the same time after claiming the World Test Championship last June over India and the ODI World Cup last November. Smith featured in both teams.

The champion cricketer, who has a base in New York, adds to the star factor in the second edition of Major League Cricket and is a key signing for the competition.

The three Australians will play under the guidance of Australian great Ricky Ponting for Washington in the tournament, which will be held in North Carolina and Texas.

Ponting is currently coaching the Delhi Capitals, which features Jake Fraser-McGurk and David Warner, in the Indian Premier League.

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The American competition has an expanded schedule this year, with an additional six games, in another sign of the growing interest in cricket in the US. The MLC competition also features teams representing Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Texas, with players including West Indians Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, Kiwi Trent Boult and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan.

Ponting’s former teammate Shane Watson coaches the San Francisco Unicorns in the competition.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 26: Steve Smith of Australia speaks to Former Australian Captain Ricky Ponting during an Australia Training Session at Lord’s Cricket Ground on June 26, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

MLC chief executive Vijay Srinivasan said the participation of players the calibre of Smith, Maxwell and Head would help the sport grow in the US, with the organisation hoping to invest in further cricket infrastructure across America.

“This promises to be our most thrilling season yet, with each of the MLC’s six teams actively recruiting in the off-season, adding a host of world-class player signings to their team rosters with more big names to be soon announced,” he said.

“Last year, we unveiled MLC at the newly upgraded Church Street Park in Morrisville, North Carolina, and the brand new Grand Prairie Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas, which will both once again co-host the 2024 tournament, building on the impact of season one in those communities.

“These venues will deliver world-class pitches and a vibrant atmosphere to support the overall MLC fan experience. Moreover, we are committed to exploring expansion opportunities with new cricket venues to support our six teams’ growing American fanbase.”

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Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head during Australian cricket team training. Pic Darren England.Source: News Corp Australia

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