Seattle is getting a major league cricket team
Seattle sports is getting a lot bigger as the Orcas cricket team enters the mix.
“We are super excited to bring world class cricket to the Pacific Northwest, which has a vibrant and passionate community of cricket and sports fans," said Soma Somasegar, co-investor in the team. "The Orcas name and the team’s colors pay tribute to our local community that has helped build that spirit of support."
While the team's name is the Seattle Orcas, it's more accurate to say the team represents Western Washington, if not the Northwest, among franchises in emerging Major League Cricket. The team is currently forming its roster, yet does not have a home field. Major League Cricket says it is working with King County and the city of Bellevue to build a cricket field at Marymoor Park in Redmond. That proposed field would host up to 6,000 people on 20 acres.
Other investors in the Seattle Orcas include major players in the local tech scene. They include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Icertis CEO Samir Bodas, Ashok Krishnamurthi (GreatPoint Ventures), and former Microsoft and Avalara executive Sanjay Parthasarathy. Somasegar is managing director at Madrona Ventures.
To help get the team going, the Orcas are partnering with the Delhi Capitals to fill its roster.
“We see America as the new frontier for cricket’s growth globally, and the Pacific Northwest provides an incredible opportunity for us to bring the resources of GMR Sports to the region and help the Seattle Orcas build a team competing for championships,” said Kiran Kumar Grandhi, CEO of GMR Group, which co-owns the Delhi Capitals.
The first season for MLC is slated for summer 2023. Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., are also lined up to get cricket teams in the league.
“The Pacific Northwest is a hotbed for American cricket, with a vibrant youth scene and the current reigning Minor League Cricket champions, the Seattle Thunderbolts, hailing from the area. It’s going to be exciting to see the Seattle Orcas build on that platform and compete in the inaugural Major League Cricket championship this summer,” said Justin Geale, MLC tournament director.
The Seattle Thunderbolts is the city's minor league cricket team. It was formed in 2021. It currently practices and plays at Issaquah's Klahanie Park and Marymoor Park.