Four MLC domestics selected for ILT20

Nosthush Kenjige
Nosthush Kenjige

Leveraging their performances in the inaugural MLC season, four American MLC players, including two USA Cricket mainstays, have been selected on teams for the upcoming ILT20. 

Nosthush Kenjige of MI New York and Corey Anderson of San Francisco Unicorns join MI Emirates, while Washington Freedom’s Saurabh Netravalkar joins the Gulf Giants and Mohammad Mohsin of Texas Super Kings joins the Dubai Capitals. 

Kenjige, who won the inaugural MLC Championship with MI New York, had the lowest economy in the entire league out of bowlers with more than one over. Kenjige’s 16.3 overs at a 5.88 economy, six wickets and electric fielding earned him a place in the playing eleven throughout the playoffs for New York, on a team that already featured Rashid Khan. On a team full of international stars, Nosh stood out as a star role player. Though Kenjige has appeared in 40 ODI for USA since 2019 (out of 50), he has not appeared in a T20 for USA since 2018. 

Nosh Kenjige of USA bats with Tim David, formerly of Singapore for MI New York in the Inaugural MLC 2023 season.

Anderson’s 190 runs ranked eighth in MLC, at an average of 47.5 and a strike rate just north of 145. Sitting just behind Andre Russell for second in runs for batters who didn’t make the playoffs, Anderson’s “total value” production equated to 11.8 runs more per innings than the league average batter, a stat that paced all domestics by a margin of 8.8 runs. Nauman Anwar beat him out by one run for the scoring lead amongst domestics, but did so in two more innings (due to playoffs) at an average of 27.28 and a strike rate of 120.12. 

Kenjige and Anderson feature together on the Dallas Mustangs of Minor League Cricket, along with seven other Major Leaguers. 

Netravalkar helped lead his Washington Freedom into the playoffs by taking wickets at key times and building pressure with economical spells. Saurabh’s 21.3 overs ranked him third, and his 10 wickets ranked him second behind Cameron Gannon amongst domestic bowlers. The lefty seamer also holds the distinction of the best innings in MLC, with six wickets for 9 runs in 3.5 against San Francisco, claiming scalps of Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis and Shadab Khan along the way. Once USA’s captain for over two years, Saurabh has settled in as USA’s top bowler, taking 73 wickets in 48 ODI at an economy of 3.96, good enough to rank him in the top 20 in the world for ODI bowling. His 19 wickets in 20 innings at a 6.31 economy in T20i for USA further speaks to his consistency and versatility across formats.

Domestically, Saurabh has featured in each of Minor League Cricket’s first two championship finals with Silicon Valley Strikers, winning the inaugural Minor League Cricket Championship in 2021. 

Mohsin was the first breakthrough domestic star in Major League Cricket, taking four wickets for eight runs in the inaugural match between his Texas Super Kings and the Los Angeles Knight Riders. Finishing with nine wickets in 21 overs at an economy of 8.52, the wrist spinning all rounder helped his team into the finals, but nearly missed out on selection altogether. 

A subpar performance in the Major League Cricket Draft Combine in March, thanks in part to a nagging injury, dropped Mohsin’s draft stock in a crowded pool of spinners who turn the ball away from right handed batters. Sure enough, nine rounds came and went, and Mohsin was without a team. 

Just days before the first ball bowled at MLC, teams came together for a tenth round. Originally reserved for the end of the first half of Minor League Cricket, the tenth round was designed to give domestics one last chance to showcase their abilities before MLC. With the first half of MiLC cancelled, due to delayed sanctioning from USA Cricket, MLC teams were left with impressions made in the combine and player resumes. Mohsin, 27, who was a standout for his Michigan Cricket Stars in 2022 in Minor League Cricket, found himself selected in this final round, and the rest is history. 

These four join Steven Taylor, who was selected by Jamaica Tallawahs for the CPL, as American domestics who have featured in MLC and now an additional T20 franchise league. With several other American domestics featuring in the ongoing USA Master’s T10 (by way of retirement from their countries of origin and being over 30 years old), there’s reason to believe there will be more opportunities to come for American cricketers.

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