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Major League Cricket raised $120M to fund U.S. expansion

Kerry Flynn
May 19, 2022
Illustration of a cricket playing hitting a ball through a television screen

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Major League Cricket raised $44 million in series A and A1 funding and secured an additional commitment of $76 million over the next year, the league announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Media rights deals to live sports are pricey, and cricket is no exception. Disney's Star India paid $2.55 billion for a five-year TV and digital rights deal of Indian Premier League games. A new deal could surpass $6 billion, per Front Office Sports.

Details: The round was led by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella along with other big names in tech and business.

  • Additional backers included Madrona Venture Group managing director Soma Somasegar along with Milliways Ventures and Rocketship VC founding partners Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan.
  • The league said the $120 million will be put toward launching the first-ever professional Twenty20 cricket league in the U.S. That includes building cricket stadiums and training centers.

What they're saying: "The ceiling for cricket's growth in the United States is incredibly high, with the passion for the game at the grassroots level I've observed in Texas [as] proof of its potential. ... The plans MLC have laid out to develop infrastructure and build a foundation for professional cricket to thrive nationwide puts the sport on a tremendous trajectory," MLC investor Anurag Jain said.

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