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Jan 31, 2022

Fresh off his appearance on last month's Year-End Holiday Roundtable Spectacular, fellow defunct sports enthusiast Steve Holroyd returns to the show for a dive into the deep end of the "forgotten sports" pool, with a look back at the little-remembered, but ahead-of-its-time Pro Cricket from 2004.
An attempt to quickly capitalize on the venerable sport's faster-paced Twenty20 format launched in England a year earlier, Pro Cricket was essentially a rogue creation formed outside of cricket's US and international sanctioning bodies - featuring eight teams in a three-month summer season played largely in minor league baseball stadiums across the country.
Crowds were sparse, mainstream sports media attention was minimal, television coverage (Dish Network PPV) was limited, and sustaining funds (supposedly three seasons' worth) were quickly exhausted. 
Yet, the play was surprisingly competitive (a smattering of international stars played; the San Francisco Freedom defeated the New Jersey Fire for the only title), and cricket enthusiasts were inspired at the potential the game could ultimately have in the States, once "done right."
That chance could come again next summer, when the new Major League Cricket launches.
Replete with at least one purpose-built stadium (the soon-to-be-converted minor league baseball AirHogs Stadium in Grand Prairie, TX), and backed by a blue-chip roster of investors including media giant Times of India Group and tech backers like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Adobe Chairman/CEO Shantanu Narayen - MLC promises to bring "world-class T20" to the States, nearly twenty years after Pro Cricket sowed the first seeds.