MAJOR LEAGUE CRICKET 2024

Four fresh domestic faces to watch out for in the MLC season 2

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The fresh faces shall look to play a part in a title winning campaign for their squads.
The fresh faces shall look to play a part in a title winning campaign for their squads. © Sportzpics

Joshua Tromp

19 year old Joshua Tromp follows in his twin brother Matthew's footsteps to bag a MLC contract. Joshua narrowly missed out as Matthew and five others were snapped up by MLC franchises on a $5,000 rookie contract. However, Joshua more than made up for the lost time as the Texas Super Kings came calling this year to sign Joshua as their primary draft pick for a $75,000 contract. The wicketkeeper batsman was rewarded handsomely for an outstanding season with the bat for the Houston Hurricanes in the Minor League that succeeded the MLC last year. Joshua notched 4 fifties in 10 games at a S/R of 132 in the South West zone, considered the most competitive in the league.

Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, the Tromp family moved to Austin, Texas when the twins turned 16. Joshua is a natural athlete who's power with the bat belies his age. He further gave a glimpse of his remarkable ball striking ability with an 82 of 40 deliveries in a practice game against Washington Freedom. He was in a unique position to experience a high class professional cricket environment by sharing a hotel room with Matthew during his stint with Seattle Orcas last season. The budding youngster got a first hand glimpse of his childhood hero and countryman Quinton de Kock go about his business and his pre match routines. Breathing the same air as his hero, being in his vicinity, Joshua took the MLC snub in his stride to ace the Minor League season. This has set him up nicely to finally join his brother at MLC for season 2.

Hassan Khan

Former Pakistan U19 captain and left arm spinning all rounder Hassan Khan was billed to be the next big thing in Pakistan cricket. Khan shot to instant fame after hitting a penultimate ball six to seal a tense run chase in the PSL, which invited social media praise from Kevin Pietersen and Sir Vivian Richards. Khan would then go on to be invited to social and school events as an official chief guest. But as Khan would acknowledge Pakistan cricket can be a giant labyrinth, he inexplicably lost favours from the powers soon after, as he mustered a mere 7 games over 4 PSL seasons.

A contemporary of Shaheen Shah Afridi, opportunities dried up for Khan in the first class set up as well. 15 first class games over the span of 6 seasons meant Khan was at his wit's end by the time a chance to venture to greener pastures in America came calling. Khan moved to America without a MLC contract on hand. He knew he had to earn his stripes in the Minor League to have a shot at MLC. It was a total shot in the dark but Khan remained self assured of his abilities to thrive in an alien land. He hit the ground running at last year's Minor League amassing 220 runs in 5 innings at a S/R of 181 to go with his tally of 11 wickets at an economy of under 5. Khan was duly rewarded for his stellar season as the first ever draft across all teams in this year's MLC draft. Khan will turn out for the San Francisco Unicorns.

Sanjay Krishnamurthi

Born in Corvallis, Oregon, Sanjay Krishnamurthi was born to a cricket aficionado father who was ready to move back to his native Bengaluru for the sake of his 7 year old son who was star struck by India's 2011 world cup win. Sanjay's father took affirmative action and relocated the family to Bengaluru. Sanjay made massive strides in Bengaluru schools cricket and eventually went onto represent Karnataka U16s as an opening batsman and frontline left arm spinner. He was also one of the finalists at Spin Stars, a talent hunt contest launched by Anil Kumble.

After failing to make it big in India, Sanjay moved back to the country of his birth as cricket gathered momentum in America post 2020. The 21 year old bagged a rookie contract with the San Francisco Unicorns on the back of some phenomenal all round performances over 2 seasons for the East Bay Blazers in the Minor League. Operating at a flying strike rate of over 145 on tacky California wicket in addition to his economy of less than 6 over 3 years is testimony to his consistency and temperament at quite a young age. He warmed the bench last year but admitted to adding valuable experience in the Unicorns nets where he nurtured his power game crediting head coach Shane Watson.

Yasir Mohammad

21 year old leg spinner Yasir Mohammad narrowly missed out on a world cup berth after being named in the reserves as USA decided to enter the competition with three left arm spinners. Yasir made his debut against Ireland as an 18 year old and quickly made an impact in his second game, holing out Curtis Campher and Simi Singh. Yasir possesses a bag of tricks as a leg spinner with considerable accuracy. His repertoire includes a slider, top spinner and a well concealed googly. The New Jersey born spinner got a surprise call up from the Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League 2023 but failed to get a game.

Born in Edison, New Jersey, Yasir plies his trade mostly on artificial wickets in the northeast region where turf wickets are hard to come by, his 28 wickets in 63 overs at an economy of 8, doesn't measure up to the promise he has shown in his limited international career. Yasir will turn up for the Washington Freedom in MLC season 2.

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