HYDERABAD: The United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) and Philadelphia-based real estate firm Global Sports Ventures (GSV) have announced a multi-year, multi-million deal for a professional cricket league in USA. USACA president Gladstone Dainty and GSV president and chief executive Jignesh (Jay) Pandya announced the deal to the tune of $70 million in New York City.
This partnership is expected to boost cricket in USA after a few failed initiatives. It will fund the grassroots: local coaches, umpires, leagues, academies and school system. And pay them through cascade funding programmes instead of beefy membership dues.
The deal also means USA joins the list of ICC members to have executed such a professional league and make cricketers full time professionals in the continent.
"This deal with Global Sports Ventures is exciting for the players in the sense that this deal allows us to make our players full time cricketers. Cricket in the United States, because of viewership and interest in immigration pattern etc, is going through the process of the commercialization. With that type of incentive I am sure we will reach the top so the players can look forward (men and women) to professional contracts," Dainty said.
"This multi-year, multi-million-dollar licensing agreement will change the way the sport is played, followed, watched and administered. We're excited to provide for the first time ever annual contracts to our players," he added.
"We are very happy and committed to growing and supporting the development of cricket in United States. We are putting $70 million towards this first step in growing the sport in US. The professional sports landscape is a notoriously tough market to break into, but we're confident in the strength of the consumer demand in the US," Pandya said.
"With the ICC's continuous support and parallel mission to grow cricket in the United States, American athletes will have an opportunity to compete on national and international levels. This licensing agreement allows us to help grow the world's second most popular sport right here in our own backyard," Pandya added.