The MLC Domestic Player Draft took place at Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center on Sunday, March 19. The 2023 Major League Cricket season “blasted off” at Space Center Houston with the inaugural season’s domestic player draft. 

Los Angeles Knight Riders:

 The Los Angeles Knight Riders started off their draft by showing their loyalty to Ali Khan, the most successful American on the franchise cricket circuit, who has featured for the Trinbago Knight Riders and Kolkata Knight Riders. The yorker specialist has taken 43 wickets in his CPL career and been a key member – when healthy – of the US National Team bowling attack.

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 LAKR firmed up their batting order with their second and third round picks, taking all-time Minor League Cricket leading scorer Unmukt Chand and Jaskaran Malhotra, who is famous for hitting six sixes in an over in a 2021 ODI against Papua New Guinea. Former Canadian International Nitish Kumar was selected in the fourth round after turning in strong all-round performances in two years of Minor League Cricket: 629 runs with the bat and 28 wickets in 95.0 overs with the ball. Bowling-focused all-rounder Shadley van Schalkwyk was perhaps one of the steals of the draft in the eighth round; Shadley sits sixth in the all-time wickets table in Minor League Cricket, having taken 40 wickets at a solid 6.41 economy.

 The Knight Riders prioritized youth in the domestic draft, taking left-arm spinner Ali Sheikh in the sixth round after strong performances with both bat and ball during the MLC combine preceding the draft. All-rounder Bhaskar Yadram was another steal in the final round after finishing twelfth in overall impact in Minor League Cricket last year, adding +8.4 runs per match with the bat from the lower order as well as restricting opponents’ totals by -0.70 runs per over with the ball.