Betway Sponsors Major League Cricket, as Inaugural Season Kicks Off in Texas
Major League Cricket (MLC) has made its debut in the United States, and it’s backed by a significant sports betting sponsorship from Betway.
The gaming company has pledged to elevate the standing of professional cricket in the U.S. by becoming the primary sponsor of MLC in its debut season.
The MLC launched this week, with the 2023 season’s first match taking place between the Texas Super Kings (pictured) and the LA Knight Riders in a refurbished minor league baseball stadium just outside of Dallas.
The Super Kings, a name that might make old-school British fans of the traditional English sport chuckle, beat the visiting L.A. Knight Raiders by 69 runs.
“It’s with great pride to announce that we’re powering the inaugural Major League Cricket; the newest innovative cricket competition in the world,” said Betway CEO Anthony Werkman in an official press release.
Globally Renowned Sport
For those unfamiliar, cricket is a globally popular sport that is vaguely similar to baseball or softball, but, arguably, more complicated and convoluted. Traditional games, called Tests, often play out over days, or even weeks, for an important series.
Major League Cricket aims to bring U.S. attention to a shortened form of the traditional game, called T-20, or 20-20.
Six teams from across the nation will battle it out in the inaugural MLC season, including teams from New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas.
The season will be hosted at two U.S. venues: Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas, and Church Street Park in Morrisville, North Carolina.
The tournament will also feature stars of the sport, including legendary South African national team captain Faf du Plessis and England’s Jason Roy. Both players have won titles in cricket’s most popular leagues, including Bangladesh, India, and England.
“Cricket is a globally renowned sport both we and our customers love, so we’re thrilled to be part of another new competition, which will aid the growth of the sport in the U.S. and beyond,” Werkman said in the press release.
Investing in the Future of Cricket
The MLC is backed by tech money and hopes to capitalize on the growing Indian American population in the U.S. and the surging popularity of international sports.
Some of the biggest business executives in the U.S., including Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, as well as other investors, have pledged at least $120 million to the league.
It is not clear how much Betway is paying for its sponsorship deal.
“Major League Cricket is bringing the world’s best cricketers to America, so it is fitting that the historic inaugural season will be ‘Powered by Betway,’ a brand that has become renowned for supporting global sports properties,” said Sameer Mehta, cofounder of Major League Cricket.
“We are thrilled by Betway’s commitment to growing cricket in America, and we can’t wait for a memorable season to get underway soon.”
Betway is well-known for sponsoring many sports leagues across the world, including popular names that are less well-known in the U.S. Betway is now a regulated option in eight U.S. sports betting states.
Interestingly, that list of Betway markets does not include either of the states that will be hosting MLC matches this season.
Or not yet, anyway. North Carolina legalized sports betting last month, but isn’t looking to open the market until early 2024. Texas politicians attempted to pass a sports betting legalization bill earlier this year. But as has been the case for years, it didn’t get very far.