USA Cricket announce $1 Billion T20 partnership with Willow TV and Times of India

In what USA Cricket Chairman Paraag Marathe described as a “watershed moment” for American cricket, the new United States board, which was readmitted to the ICC less than 6 months ago, announced a billion-dollar partnership with Willow TV and the owners of Times of India Group to develop cricket infrastructure, academies and a professional T20 league in the USA.The board published a request for proposals in Novemeber last year, looking for partners “to construct, fund, launch, and operate the first professional T20 cricket league in the United States” as well as to finance considerable infrastructure and grassroots development projects. The ToI/Willow bid, under the name American Cricket Enterprises, is understood to have beaten out a number of rival proposals, USA cricket citing “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” as he key strengths of the ACE bid.CE is backed by Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, the founders of Willow TV, the largest cricket broadcaster in North America, and Satyan Gajwani and Vineet Jain, the principals of The Times of India Group. In addition to the T20 franchise league, slated to launch in 2021, the partnership envisages a long-term investment in US cricket, funding the construction of several international-standard venues in major US cities as well as upgrading.