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Perot Jain Leaders Announce New Partnership for North Texas’ Pro Cricket Team

Backed by investors and co-owners Anurag Jain and Ross Perot Jr. the Texas Super Kings will join five other Major League Cricket teams, and North Texas will host all league games in the upcoming summer season.
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Courtesy: MLC

Major League Cricket’s North Texas franchise announced it will partner with one of the best clubs in the Indian Premier League, the Chennai Super Kings. The newly named Texas Super Kings will share an ownership group and head coach with the four-time IPL champions, and games are set to begin this summer. They are among six Major League Cricket teams in the U.S.

The Texas Super Kings are the third cricket franchise owned by India Clements, a cement manufacturing company in India that also owns the Chennai Super Kings and the Joburg Super Kings, a professional cricket team in Johannesburg, South Africa. All three teams are coached by New Zealander Stephen Fleming, a former captain of his country’s national cricket team.

“It’s come together at the right time,” Fleming said. “It’s our responsibility to grow the game, and you do that through success.”

Working with managing director Narayanaswami Srinivasan, Perot Jain leaders Anurag Jain and Ross Perot Jr. hope to help the team gain traction. The pair are among the teams co-owners and investors in a $44 million funding round that will help develop the league nationwide.

To make his hometown the epicenter of American cricket is a dream come true for Jain, who had professional cricket aspirations as a child growing up in India. For the Perot family, it is a re-entry into sports ownership; the family-owned the Dallas Mavericks before Mark Cuban purchased the club.

Texas Super Kings leadership seeks to grow the game by attracting top-level player talent and developing a domestic audience. With 2.5 billion fans worldwide, cricket is the second-most popular sport worldwide and the fourth-most profitable, producing $3.5 billion in annual revenue. Currently, North Texas cricket fans are often forced to watch international games in the middle of the night. Major League Cricket and the Texas Super Kings hope to change that.

All Major League Cricket teams made their draft picks this week for players within the U.S., but rosters are still being filled with international talent. League calendars and contracts allow players to play in multiple leagues around the world, meaning American teams will have an opportunity to sign some of the sport’s top players when other seasons abroad come to a close.

All league matches will be played in Grand Prairie this year in the renovated 7,200-seat stadium of the Grand Prairie Airhogs, a former independent baseball league team. It is the first cricket-specific stadium in the United States.

Texas Super King leadership is pursuing partnerships with youth leagues and universities around the country to grow the game through grassroots and said it hopes to have cricket in the next Olympics and as an official NCAA sport in the coming years.

The league hopes to follow the model of professional soccer in the U.S., which after a few starts and stops, has become a growing league that includes $250 million television contracts with Apple TV, international ownership partnerships, robust support domestically, and increasing global success.  

Supporters of the team and league know that MLS-level success won’t happen overnight, but prioritizing the fan experience, bringing in quality players, and forming a balanced and competitive league are all part of the foundation on which they hope to build.

Looking ahead, Jain says the hope is for all six teams to have their own cricket-specific stadiums in the next 2-3 years, allowing home fanbases to develop and enabling them to watch their local teams. For him, this is more than a strategic investment—it’s a passion.

“To be able to take the sport I love so much and bring it all across the world to the largest media market in the world is a dream come true,” Jain said. “For that, I’m thankful to all of you, and I’m thankful to the universe. MLC has been a journey of love.”

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Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior editor for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…

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