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Could Major League Cricket become the destination for South Africa’s disenfranchised cricketers?

The likes of Calvin Savage, Corne Dry, Shadley van Schalkwyk are headed to Major League Cricket.

Calvin Savage is heading to Major League Cricket
Calvin Savage is one of several South African players heading to Major League Cricket. Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The dissolution of the franchise system and the Brexit-driven collapse of the Kolpak rule in England's County system has left a fair whack of South African cricketers out in the cold.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

While there are technically now more teams in the domestic cricket scene, the second division squads have revealed that the second tier will be populated by young prospects augmented by a handful of grizzled veterans.

In such times the newest horizon in professional cricket seems to be an attractive option for talents who find themselves on the out.

Major League Cricket is an ambitious project, in need of talent and as such, has proven an attractive destination for South African cricketers.

For the younger crowd, there is the prospect of qualifying to play for the United States within the next three to four years.

The project is attempting to put an American twist on T20 Cricket, with Minor League Cricket to feed into Major League Cricket in a fashion similar to the structure of America’s past-time, baseball.

In a slight twist from baseball’s structure, it has been suggested that players would turn out in both Minor and Major League Cricket. Minor League Cricket will be played between 24 franchise-based teams across the United States. These teams will feed into an initial six Major League teams.

Former South African franchise cricketers David White, Andries Gous, Corne Dry, Shadley van Schalkwyk and Calvin Savage, have already signed up for the project.

The new driving force of cricket in the United States is USA Cricket which replaced the USACA. USACA had been expelled in 2017 due to governance failures.

Major League Cricket is not an interest confined to the US, having gained the backing of Indian media giants. Its partners include Satyan Gajwani and Vineet Jain of The Times Group, and Willow TV founders Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan.

If USA Cricket makes good on their early promise, the demand for South African cricketers might just take off in the Western hemisphere.

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