Smit joined the Manhattan Yorkers for Minor League Cricket after having retired from all forms of Indian cricket.
The Minor League Cricket USA 2021 tournament kick-started on July 31. Former India U19 star Smit Patel made his captaincy debut for Manhattan Yorkers in the tournament. He has now played a splendid knock of unbeaten 99 to help the team secure a massive victory against Orlando Galaxy.
Smit joined the Manhattan Yorkers for Minor League Cricket after having retired from all forms of Indian cricket. The tournament got delayed due to the surge of the Covid-19 pandemic last summer. This tournament is expected to pave the path for a higher-profile six-team Major League Cricket (MLC) T20 franchise league which is to be launched in the year 2023.
Patel recently took the decision of giving up cricket in India and shifting to the USA. Bringing up this impressive knock of 99 not out, he displayed his sheer flair and also sailed the team to victory. Alongside him, Sami Aslam (Golden State Grizzlies), Corey Anderson (Irvin Mustangs), and Shehan Jayasuriya are some other key players who are a part of this tournament.
Ex-India U19 star Smit Patel made 99* on his @MiLCricket captaincy debut for Manhattan Yorkers, who are cruising on the way to a big win over Orlando Galaxy in Lauderhill, Florida. pic.twitter.com/IcnOO2w3it
— Peter Della Penna (@PeterDellaPenna) July 31, 2021
My Indian chapter is over; it is time for me to start the next phase of my life in the USA: Smit Patel
Smit Patel was one of the stars of the 2012 Under-19 World Cup victory of India. He put up a belligerent show with the willow in the finals alongside skipper Unmukt Chand to help India win the World Cup against Australia. However, success at the Under-19 level sometimes does not guarantee a national spot for many players.
Patel’s transition to the senior side of the Gujarat team wasn’t smooth. He thus featured for Tripura, Goa, and Baroda as well in the Ranji Trophy in search of more matches. Smit Patel who is still just 28 has a long way ahead of him and thus took the call to play cricket for the USA. There is a cutthroat competition to make it to the Indian side, considering the talent the country beholds.
“It was frustrating, but when you see the competition in Indian cricket, it is quite surreal. I have no hard feelings. All my paperwork with the BCCI is completed now. My Indian chapter is over; it is time for me to start the next phase of my life in the USA,” said Patel as reported by India Today.