Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has formed Seattle’s new professional cricket team in partnership with Delhi Capitals’ co-owner GMR Group. The team will compete in Major League Cricket (MLC), a new T20 franchise league in the USA. The team unveiled its logo and team name and there are plans that some of the world’s top players will be seen as a part of the sporting event.
The Seattle Orcas’ lead investor group includes Nadella, Soma Somasegar (Managing Director of Madrona Ventures), Samir Bodas (Co-founder and CEO, Icertis), Ashok Krishnamurthi (Managing Partner, GreatPoint Ventures), and Sanjay Parthasarathy (a former senior executive at Microsoft and Avalara).
Mumbai Indians, owned by Reliance Industries Ltd, is expanding into the United States with a Major League Cricket (MLC) franchise – MI New York. The team is set to compete in the historic inaugural season of MLC this July following the completion of necessary customary due diligence; negotiation, and execution of definitive binding agreements, and receipt of required corporate, regulatory and third-party approvals and compliances.
MI New York unveiled its name and logo today with a graphic featuring the iconic MI logo followed by NY, featured on the New York skyline.
Mrs. Nita. M. Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians, said, “I am thrilled to welcome our New York franchise to the growing MI Family! With our entry into the first T20 franchise cricket league in the US, I hope we are able to establish Mumbai Indians as a global brand of fearless and entertaining cricket! This is another new beginning for MI and I look forward to the exciting journey ahead.”
“New York City and the broader Tri-State area is home to countless cricket fans who now have a team to call their own. We are delighted to be able to bring the Mumbai Indians stateside to such an iconic global city,” said Vijay Srinivasan, co-founder, Major League Cricket. “We can’t wait to see MI New York take the field this summer in the historic first season of Major League Cricket.”
MI are well-known to cricket and international sports fans, with four teams – Mumbai Indians in men’s and women’s IPL leagues in India, MI Cape Town in South Africa and MI Emirates in UAE – totaling close to 50 million fans spread across the globe. MI has won seven titles in the 15 years since their inception, with many marquee players having worn the famous blue and gold jersey of MI, now set to debut with MI New York.
The roster for MI New York will start to be filled out over the next week. Select marquee overseas players will be announced soon, while the best American domestic players will be selected at the inaugural MLC Domestic Player Draft on Sunday, March 19, in Houston, Texas. All six teams are set to converge at Space Center Houston, the official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, which will provide an iconic venue and backdrop for the league’s debut draft. Fans can follow the event live via a special show on the MLC Network YouTube channel.
MI New York will be one of six teams to take the pitch for the first time at a new MLC venue built in Grand Prairie, Texas. The season is set to open July 13 and end with the first MLC championship final to take place on July 30. MI New York joins teams from Texas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington in MLC and will play the explosive Twenty20 (T20) format of the game, with matches typically lasting three hours.