Cricket: Pat Cummins signs four-year deal with San Francisco Unicorns

Major League Cricket’s strength as a destination T20 tournament has increased with Australian star Pat Cummins signing a massive four-year deal to play with the San Francisco Unicorns.

It’s another signing that the Big Bash has been unable to secure, as Cummins joins a growing list of Australian weapons, including Steve Smith, who has joined the fledgling competition.

Cummins has not played in the Big Bash since 2018 due to international commitments that prevent most of Australia’s top players from playing in the tournament.

Several, including Cummins, have signed ambassadorial deals to keep them involved in the Big Bash.

But before that he only played in one overseas league, the IPL, signed several big deals and earned more than $3 million this season as Sunrisers captain.

Cricket is growing in popularity in the US, with T20 World Cup matches being played in New York and Dallas, and Cummins said he sees a bright future for the game there and wants to be involved.

“MLC is growing rapidly and the potential of the US cricket market is huge,” said Cummins.

“While cricket is an integral part of my involvement, the global network and long-term opportunities offered by the owners in particular and Silicon Valley more broadly are a unique opportunity for me and my life outside of cricket.”

The MLC is scheduled to be played from July 6 to 29 this year, after the World Cup, but Cummins’ availability next year could be affected by the two-Test series in the West Indies in June and July.

Cummins is among a host of Australians to join the MLC, with batting dynamo Jake Fraser-McGurk set to join the Australian captaincy at the San Francisco Unicorns this season. The Washington Freedom have also signed several prominent Australians including Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head and Smith.

The MCL has gained List A status for its second season and will now be recognized as an official T20 league, with records considered as official T20 statistics.

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