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Tech Titans Satya Nadella, Shantanu Narayen and Others Invest in American Cricket Story

Other cricket investors include Madrona Venture Group, and executives from Google, as well as Iconic Ventures. 
PUBLISHED JUN 12, 2024
Cover image source: Satya Nadella | Ben Kriemann/Getty Images
Cover image source: Satya Nadella | Ben Kriemann/Getty Images

Cricket never really catapulted in the US as compared to other countries like England, India, and Australia. However, with the Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup being co-hosted by the US for the first time, the sport is getting attention from fans and investors alike.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen are among the executives who are set to invest in the new US professional league, Major League Cricket.

Other cricket investors include Madrona Venture Group, and executives from Google, as well as Iconic Ventures. 

"What gets me excited is seeing if cricket can become a mainstream sport in the U.S.," said Soma Somasegar, venture capitalist and managing director at Madrona, via CNBC.

Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella 
 | Ethan Miller | Getty Images
Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella | Ethan Miller | Getty Images

As per reports, one of the major reasons driving this shift is the Indian-origin population in the country, who have single-handedly fuelled the viewership with which comes financing and investments.

Now, with these tech moguls injecting into the sport only means that the landscape of the sport is going to change for the better soon. In addition to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, other founding members like Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm have also invested in Major League Cricket (MLC).

The MLC is going to be a six-franchise league out of which four of them will be owned by Indians with three being a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise. With the IPL as the benchmark, the MLC has generated 70000 spectators in viewership, and over $2.8 million in ticket sales. 

Robert Cianflone | Getty Images
Robert Cianflone | Getty Images

MI New York is owned by a multi-billionaire from India, Mukesh Ambani who is also the owner of Mumbai Indians, which plays in the IPL. Los Angeles Knight Riders and Texas Super Kings are two franchises that too have IPL roots. Los Angeles Knight Riders is owned by actor Shah Rukh Khan, while India Cements Ltd owns the Texas Super Kings, and also the Chennai Super Kings. The Major League Cricket is all set to open their much anticipated second season on July 4. 

Nadella, who is a huge fan of the sport, reportedly has a cricket field at the Microsoft campus in  Bellevue, Washington.

T20 World Cup 2022 | Getty Images | Cameron Spencer
T20 World Cup 2022 | Getty Images | Cameron Spencer

“A lot of us immigrants grew up with this sport. We’d study and watch cricket — on repeat,” said Somasegar. As per the reports, around $850 million has been pumped into building a proper cricket league in the US. The six teams are expected to spend roughly $75 million and $100 million over the coming year, which they are also expected to get back. 

Currently, the fanfare is in the form of the T20 World Cup which is going at three locations in the US and other West Indies is the tournament making the money. As per Ticket reseller StubHub, the average price of a cricket ticket for Sunday's match is around $1,300. The average price for the other 54 matches of the tournament is $120, the company said.

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