We take through all five of group games, scheduled from July 14th to July 23rd, and what to expect from our opponents in the inaugural edition of Major League Cricket.

Washington Freedom v Seattle Orcas (July 14th)

It’s East Coast v West Coast in our campaign opener, with the Freedom hoping to stop the Seattle Orcas from making a splash in the Lone Star State.

Led out by coach Pravin Amre, the Orcas — like all MLC teams — boast a skillful squad, including the South African duo of Quinton de Kock and Wayne Parnell. However, fingers crossed, the two will be no match for our boys in red, white, and blue, with captain Moises Henriques making sure that life in the MLC gets off to a special start at the Grand Prairie Stadium.

Washington Freedom v Texas Super Kings (July 16th)

The sister club to five-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, Stephen Fleming’s side will have success in their sights — but not if Greg Shipperd’s Freedom has anything to do with it.

Led out by captain Faf Du Plessis, the South African is one name in a list of big hitters: Devon Conway, Amabti Rayudu, and expert bowler Dwayne “DJ” Bravo all showing out as stars of the south. The Kings may feel like they rule the land already, but it’ll be the Freedom hoping to claim the crown, going toe-to-toe in a game you can’t miss.

We may be in their backyard, but it’s time we made ourselves at home.

Washington Freedom v L.A. Knight Riders (July 20th)

We then move east for our third group game, taking on the Golden State’s Los Angeles Knight Riders under the lights of Church Street Park, North Carolina.

Coming out of the City of Angels are a pool of players loved throughout the world of cricket: Jason Roy, Sunil Narine, Unmukt Chand, and of course, Jamaica’s jewel — Andre Russell. It’ll be a tough, but the Freedom will be confident about coming out on top as they ride into battle against the Knights of LA, in a match set to be a Hollywood blockbuster of cricket.

Washington Freedom v San Fransisco Unicorns (July 22nd)

The first of our final two group games, the San Fransico Unicorns get an exciting weekend of cricket under way in North Carolina.

A squad with an Australian edge, they’ll be led by coach Shane Watson and captained by Aaron Finch, a duo who know a thing or two about winning. Finch recently captained Australia to their maiden T20 World Cup in 2021, a squad that also featured fellow Unicorns Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade.

Come Saturday, though, the Freedom will be looking to bring the Unicorns back to reality as the days draw closer to those all-important knockout rounds.

Washington Freedom v MI New York (July 23rd)

Our final group game takes place a day later, in a battle for the east coast as we take on MI New York.

Coaching the side will be former South African international Robin Peterson. And with a squad that includes giants of the game Kieron Pollard and Rashid Khan, the star-studded nature that comes with New York’s reputation will be no different in this year’s MLC — not that it’ll bother the Freedom.

In what will be a weekend to remember, our pace, power, and precision should be enough to take a bite out of the Big Apple, and we’ll be hungry to advance and edge nearer to the sweet taste of victory in the final.