Pro cricket is coming to North Texas
The first Major League Cricket stadium — and home of the USA Cricket National team — will be in Grand Prairie.
Driving the news: The new stadium will replace the ballpark of the now-defunct minor league baseball team, the AirHogs. Construction will start this summer and the venue will open next year.
- Ross Perot Jr. and his longtime business partner, Anurag Jain, are among the investors.
Why it matters: This is America's first foray into major league cricket, and the Grand Prairie stadium could put North Texas in the running to host a Cricket World Cup one day.
- The last International Cricket Council Men's Cricket World Cup, held in 2019, had a broadcast audience of 706 million.
Between the lines: North Texas was chosen because of its warm climate, strong fan base, centralized time zone and the presence of other major sports venues, the league tells Axios.
Zoom out: Major League Cricket is also planning stadiums in other areas where the sport is popular, including San Jose, Seattle, and Orange County, Calif.
What they're saying: "The ceiling for cricket's growth in the U.S. is incredibly high, with the passion for the game at the grassroots level I've observed in Texas proof of its potential," Jain said in a statement.
Flashback: Cricket is older than baseball.
- New York City hosted North America's first documented cricket match in 1751.
- By the mid-1800s, there were nearly 1,000 cricket clubs across 22 states.
- The British also popularized cricket in other colonies, including South Asia, South Africa, the Caribbean, and Australia.
State of play: For many U.S. immigrants from cricket-loving countries, watching or playing the sport offers a taste of home.
- Without many cricket stadiums in the U.S., fans often turn vacant parking lots into makeshift pitches for a few hours.
Catch up fast: It's a match, not a game.
- There are no home runs. The runs you score are based on how far the ball goes into the field.
- If the ball is caught mid-air, you're out. If the ball knocks over a wicket mid-play, you're out.
- The inning ends when you get to 10 outs, or if the number of balls allotted in your series runs out.
The endurance: Depending on the type of match, it could last from four to eight hours or stretch for days.
💭 Our thought bubble: Naheed's family is hyped about the chance of watching international cricket in person, instead of having to tune in at odd hours.
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