South African cricket legend and former Royal Challengers Bangalore star AB de Villiers is all set to launch the first edition of The Last Man Stands (LMS) India Super League 2023, the world’s largest amateur T20 cricket league in India. The former South African test captain is the global ambassador of LMS. The franchise style cricket tournament for amateurs, to be held annually, will provide a unique opportunity to up and coming cricketers from all over India including Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities and rural areas to showcase their talent alongside players from larger Indian cities. The tournament will be held between March 17 and 22, 2023 in New Delhi.
Each team will have a team owner and will be allowed a squad of 11 players. The winning team will go on to represent India at the Last Man Stands World Champs in Cape Town, South Africa in December 2023. The World Champs sees a significant number of global teams competing to win the title of best LMS team in the world each year.
The matches of the tournament will be streamed live with commentary and are expected to attract new audiences and high viewership from countries like India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, Sweden and the USA, where LMS leagues already have a presence.
Last Man Stands has specifically designed an innovative game format with exciting new rules and global ranking systems. Its unique T20 format includes a 2-hour game with 8 players per side, allowing upcoming players to participate and get a taste of playing professional modern-day cricket. It also provides amateur T20 cricketers coming from smaller, lesser-known regions across the world a platform to converge, connect and build a sense of community among themselves.
In addition, LMS is offering cricket enthusiasts from India and overseas a chance to own city teams. With over 50 percent of the remaining non-tender cities now sold, the closing date to tender for one of the 8 mega cities is November 20, 2022.
Commenting on the league’s vision, Wayne Greve, Founder, Last Man Stands, said, “We are thrilled to bring LMS to India. With this launch we plan to further our passion for developing an exciting version of the game. We believe in shaping the future of cricket and interconnecting global communities. AB’s sportsmanship perfectly embodies the LMS ethos, making him an ideal figurehead for our organisation.”
Added co-founder Bjorn Briggs, “LMS, at its heart, is a grassroots focused concept and the stature of an ambassador like AB inspires players of all abilities to participate and aspire to develop their game. The launch of India Super League 2023 promises to be very exciting!”
Talking about his association with LMS, AB de Villiers said, “It’s great to be involved as the first global ambassador of Last Man Stands. I have watched their innovative format grow globally at grassroots level over the years. It has kept a lot of players in the game. The tech advances LMS is making to connect with other players around the world with global rankings and game TV highlights is just brilliant.”
Founded in London in 2005 by South Africans, Wayne Greve and Bjorn Briggs, Last Man Stands is the world’s largest and widest reaching amateur cricket league. LMS is recognisable in cricket grounds globally by its distinctive coloured kits and organises cricket leagues for over 200,000 players and 20,000+ matches every year. They have franchise operations in countries such as India, Australia, South Africa, England, Bangladesh, Pakistan, USA, Canada, Sweden and Singapore.
In 2021 AB de Villiers, one of the most exciting players of the modern game, joined them as global ambassador. The former batsman has scooped ICC ODI Player of the Year 3 times during his illustrious international career.