The Sunoco Minor League Cricket (MiLC) Championship launched its third season over the past weekend, with 12 matches taking place in America’s most extensive cricket competition. On Saturday, Aug. 5, a season kickoff event celebration took place at Sixes Social Cricket in Dallas, TX. Star players, cricket community leaders and MiLC partners celebrated the start of seven weeks of all-action T20 cricket featuring the best players across the country.

The event at Sixes featured appearances by MiLC players including Unmukt Chand (Atlanta Lightning), Sujith Gowda (Dallas Mustangs), Rushil Ugarkar (Dallas Mustangs) and Karthik Gattepalli (Houston Hurricanes).

Sunoco, Title Partner of Minor League Cricket, was represented at the kickoff party by Patrick Albo, Director of Business Development. Sunoco’s support of cricket in the community stretches back well over a decade in Texas, with the largest fuel distributor in the United States partnering on a national level with Minor League Cricket since its second season.

At the event, Albo commented that “We sponsored cricket locally down in the Houston market for the last 15 years. Minor League Cricket on the national level is a great fit for Sunoco to participate with – to see the crowds and all the excitement is amazing. It’s really great to see where cricket is going. As Sunoco grows, the cricket organization and the Minor League grows – it’s something to connect on with our customers and we’re really excited and happy to be here.”

Making remarks on behalf of Laxmi, Official Partner of Minor League and a leading South Asian food brand was Sundeep Lamba, Head of Sales & Marketing for the Laxmi brand at House of Spices.

Lamba spoke to the significance of cricket to the South Asian community and how the sport is poised to grow in the years to come across the United States, commenting that: “Laxmi has been here for 50 years in America and we are almost in every single household. We are happy that cricket is here. We know this will be a big event here and a big sport. Laxmi always wanted to participate in bringing the “desi” culture back into the United States. We are already doing that with the food. We are glad to associate now with cricket.”

Unmukt Chand, of the Atlanta Lightning for the 2023 season and previously captain of the 2021 MiLC title-winning Silicon Valley Strikers said:

“Minor League Cricket has been critical for the development of American cricket in recent years and I’m excited to compete this year for the Atlanta Lightning. Winning the inaugural MiLC title in 2021 was a real highlight for me in my journey through American cricket. Coming off the success Major League Cricket had in July, it’ll be exciting to see the next generation of players here strive to earn a spot in MLC next summer.”

Minor League Cricket is also supported by Bru, the event’s “Cricket for the Community” partner, and Dolphin Media, MiLC’s Outdoor Partner.

Zubin Surkari, Minor League Cricket Tournament Director, said:

“Minor League Cricket is a critical pathway to growing the sport across the country and the support of our official partners facilitates this investment at the grassroots level that will bring through the next generation of American cricket stars. We are very grateful for the partnerships with Sunoco, Laxmi, Bru and Dolphin Media and we are thrilled another season of exciting action in MiLC is underway.”

The first weekend of action saw a pair of victories for the East Bay Blazers and SoCal Lashings in the Pacific Conference along with a win for the Chicago Tigers in a derby matchup with the Chicago Kingsmen. The Atlantic Conference saw five teams register in the win column: the Morrisville Raptors, New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers, Baltimore Royals, The Philadelphians and the Manhattan Yorkers.

One hundred and forty further matches are set to take place across the regular season and two weeks of playoff matchups. The most extensive cricket competition in America, the T20 league is the key pathway to Major League Cricket, which successfully completed its historic launch season in July.

The 2023 edition of MiLC features 26 teams playing nationwide at 17 venues, including 19 matches set to take place at Grand Prairie Stadium, the newly redeveloped premier cricket venue in Grand Prairie, TX. Fans can follow the action live via free streams on the MLC Network on YouTube throughout the two months of the competition. All matches are free for fans to attend.