USA Cricket announced that it had selected American Cricket Enterprises, backed by the principals of The Times of India and Willow TV, as its partner for professional USA T20 league.
USA Cricket announced that it had selected American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) as its partner for the the development of a world-class T20 league in the U.S.
ACE is backed by Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, the founders of Willow TV, and Satyan Gajwani and Vineet Jain, the principals of The Times Group. Willow TV is the largest cricket broadcaster in the U.S. and a pioneer in cricket streaming via the internet. Willow TV, in turn, is owned by the Times Internet. The Times Group is the publisher of The Times of India, the world's largest circulated English language newspaper as well as Times Internet. Vineet Jain, is a member of the Sahu Jain family, which owns the Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd., the parent company of The Times Group.
The selection of ACE is the culmination of USA Cricket’s year-long quest to bring professional cricket to the world’s largest sports market. The organization estimated that the agreement will result in over $1 billion invested into the development of cricket domestically. USA Cricket noted, "ACE's proposal combined a large financial commitment to invest into the league, key deals for infrastructure and broadcast distribution, experienced and knowledgeable leadership, and a data-driven, analytical business strategy that affirmed ACE’s ability to build a longstanding institution that will elevate U.S. cricket to the highest international levels."
“USA Cricket is excited to partner with ACE to launch a professional cricket league in the United States and I thank the board for their hard work and thoughtful deliberation throughout this process,” said Paraag Marathe, USA Cricket Board Chairman. “Vijay, Sameer, Satyan and Vineet provided a comprehensive vision for the growth of cricket in the U.S. on all levels, and we’re confident they will create a world class T20 league here in America. This is a watershed moment for cricket in the United States and we look forward to a long-lasting, successful partnership.”
USA Cricket estimated a 2021 launch for the T20 league and noted that ACE has commenced major infrastructure investment towards international grade cricket venues in several U.S. metropolitan markets, with plans for additional turf pitches. ACE is also expected to "provide support for USA Cricket’s men’s and women’s national teams to ensure they can capitalize on their recent successes at the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 and the ICC Women’s Americas Qualifier, respectively."
"A major component of ACE’s plans are the developmental academies around the country that will be aligned to the league teams and will help foster and develop talent at the youth levels to ensure a strong pipeline of cricket players of the highest caliber," USA Cricket noted in its media release.
“Cricket has the second largest audience in the world, and yet has little presence in the largest professional sports market,” said Satyan Gajwani of The Times of India Group. “We want to develop a lasting institution that brings to the U.S. the excitement and passion of cricket, enjoyed by billions of people globally. True grassroots development of any sport takes decades and we are excited and committed to play a role in developing world-class cricket in America.”
“After a successful run in establishing the U.S. as a major broadcast market for international cricket, we are now excited to partner with USA Cricket to take American cricket to the highest levels through the new T20 league,” said Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan of Willow.
USA Cricket noted that additional details will be announced after the ICC Cricket World Cup in July.