Sam Singh launches the most sought-after team for the league; Sunil Hali promises an exciting series with high-level games  

Our Bureau
Woodbridge, NJ

Finally, professional cricket has arrived in the US with American Premiere League (APL) announcing the first season of the seven-nation league in New Jersey. Jay Mir, the founder and owner of APL with his vision to bring highest quality cricket in T20 format set out and sought the approval from two United States Cricket Board which reports to the ICC.

A sport which is followed by about two billion fans around the world, cricket is long sought after by the lovers of the game in the US. Though the game was first played in the US in the late 1800s, it never took roots. But with about 20 million immigrants from countries where cricket is second religion, the game had to be launched.

Jay formed American Sports and Entertainment Group and built his plan on the lines of IPL in India. He announced the exciting tournament in summer and starting to auction the teams. He sold Pakistani, English, Aussies and West Indies team quite quickly but held on to the most coveted and sought-after team of Premium Indians. He was looking for an enterprising businessman who would bring in the best to APL with a premium Indian team.

And Sam Singh, the fast-growing NRI from North India was the best fit. Sam has been growing very quickly in the entertainment space in the US and sports was a natural step forward. Sam Singh, along with his chief consultant Sunil Hali, a veteran in marketing, entertainment and media space, worked closely to firm up the offer. Rest is now history as Sam Singh becomes the first proud owner of Premium Indians USA KINGS, the Indian team for APL.

Befitting to the APL and in line with size of the Indian community in the US, the announcement was made at a glittering event with cream de la creme at the Lake Chateau in Woodbridge on August 30, 2021. About 100 plus guests from the Tri-state area with leading media attended the evening as Sam Singh announced his team.

Speaking at the event, Sam said: “I am humbled with your presence to join us on this historic day when we are making a dream come true. We all have lived with cricket since childhood. Amongst many other things that we missed all these years IN USA, cricket is certainly on top of the list. We watch Cricket on TV, in cinema halls and online. But we still were missing the real-life experience. Now the moment is here. I got the opportunity to explore cricket in reality in the US. And obviously I took the Indian team to represent our nation.”

“I am working day and night with my team and APL to make sure we present true and competitive cricket. While as a sportsman I wish every team a great success but my dream is to win the 1st season and you all to join to cheer our team in every game. I can assure you it will be exciting and satisfying especially when you each come with family and friends. Please join us in every game to make it a Grand success. I thank Jay Mir, Chairman of APL who has created this event. Let us celebrate the AMERICAN PREMIERE LEAGUE,” Sam Singh added.

Sunil Hali expanded on the plans to present the Premium Indians in best possible way and target to win the first season which has a winning prize of $75,000 and eye of five million plus NRIs. “We plan to have a very competent team that will be highly professional and play the game at the highest level. We are aware of the expectations and building the team with great care. It is a long haul over next few seasons when we will take the game to the highest level and make it an international cricketing event in coming years”.

Jay Mir, Chairman and owner of APL was highly appreciative of Sam Singh for stepping forward and buying the Premium Indians. He looks forward to a close association with Sam Singh to build APL as Premium Indians is the hottest team. Sam has a vision to build APL with more teams in coming years from countries which have strong community presence in USA.  Said Jay: “I want to bring communities together and build through cricket”.

Asif Jamal, President of APL and COO of ARY Digital North America, was all praises for Mir for launching such enterprise. He was one of the first one to join the project from ARY Digital. And provided full support to Mir to get the project off the ground. Said Asif, “ARY Digital has been in forefront when it comes to cricket in sub-continent. And now we are with cricket from 1st day as it enters in USA”.

The event was attended by Dr H R Shah, Chairman and CEO of TV Asia who has been in forefront to promote college cricket in the US. He praised promoter Mir for bringing professional cricket to the US. Shah confirmed his support to APL from TV Asia all the way as he himself has been a cricketer in his college days.

The 10-day cricket tournament starts on September 20th and will go on till 30th. With two games during day and one at night at the Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls in New Jersey, the league follows T20 format. The opening ceremony is set for September 13, 2021, at the stadium with top performing musical groups. Seven teams involve Indian, Pakistani, England, Australian, West Indies, Bangladeshi and American.

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