One of the greatest cricketers of the “golden era” of the sport, Philadelphia-born Bart King, will be honored with Major League Cricket’s Domestic Player of the Tournament award named after one of the leading pioneers of swing bowling in world cricket.

Born in 1873, John Barton “Bart” King is considered to be the best American to ever play cricket, spending his career from 1893 to 1912 playing for the Gentlemen of Philadelphia. A devastating fast bowler, King starred at home and overseas, for many years holding the single-season English bowling record average of 11.01 set in 1908 against county level teams during an extended summer tour. King also holds the record score by an American of 344 in an innings and racked up 39 centuries during his career.

“Major League Cricket has ushered in a new era for cricket in America, but it’s important to honor the sport’s heritage here,” said Sameer Mehta, co-Founder, Major league Cricket. “Cricket has been played in America since the revolutionary era and was once the most popular sport in the country. Even in harder times for the sport, it’s been kept alive by communities passionate about cricket. Bart King represents the very best of American cricket performance to-date and we are hopeful that MLC will inspire a new generation of stars to emulate his feats in world cricket.”

Fans can discover more about this era at the final match to be held at Grand Prairie Stadium on Sunday, July 30. The MLC fan zone will include a display of unique historical cricketing items from the C. Christopher Morris Cricket Library and Collection, the largest collection of cricket literature and memorabilia in the western hemisphere. The CC Morris Cricket Library is located on the Haverford College Campus in Haverford, PA, where cricket has been played for over 180 years.

Items on display will include:

  • A batting trophy from the Belmont Club won by Bart King;
  • A cricket bat used by W.G. Grace, the most famous cricketer of the nineteenth century;
  • A bat signed by members of the famous Hollywood Cricket Club, whose members included the actors Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn;
  • Other rare cricket memorabilia including historical scorecards, historical books, poetry and a jersey signed by former South Africa captain Gary Kirsten.

The Bart King Domestic Player of the Tournament award will be given out following the final match of Major League Cricket’s groundbreaking first season. The final will be broadcast live in North America on Willow TV.