- Cricketing legend Steve Smith secures ownership in Major League Pickleball Australia team “Sydney Smash”
- First of the professional MLP Australia teams to have formal ownership
- MLP Australia Season One 2024 kicks off in Sydney, 23-25 February
SYDNEY, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Former Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith, has secured ownership rights of the Sydney Smash, a professional pickleball team in Major League Pickleball Australia.
Smith, widely regarded as one of cricket’s greatest in the history of the sport, said his investment in the Sydney Smash is a testament to his belief in the potential of pickleball as an emerging global sport. “I was drawn to pickleball for its incredible power to connect people. With the Sydney Smash, I hope to bring my experience in professional sports to help support the team and elevate the sport.”
Coming into its second year, Major League Pickleball Australia, the official professional pickleball league of Australia, boasts a prize pool of over $700,000 across six events in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The league features twelve professional teams, showcasing the top players in the region, complemented by international talents. The opening event for 2024 is scheduled from February 23rd to 25th in Sydney.
The Sydney Smash, under the leadership of seasoned Captain Mitch Hargreaves, is a formidable team, having triumphed at their home event in 2023. Their recent success positions them as strong contenders in the upcoming season.
Adam Thompson, CEO of MLP Australia, commented on Smith’s involvement, “Steve’s engagement with the Sydney Smash is a game-changer for pickleball in Australia and beyond. His vision and expertise are invaluable assets that will significantly boost the sport’s national and international presence.”
Smith joins Australia’s leading racquet sports venue operator and coaching provider Voyager Tennis in the ownership consortium. Anthony Liveris, President of MLP Australia, added, “We are thrilled to partner with Voyager and their world class team of coaches and racquet sports venues. This ownership group represents the very best of Sydney pickleball.”
The opening event of the season is scheduled for 23rd to 25th February in Sydney at Blacktown Tennis Centre.
For more information, visit pacificpickleball.com.au or contact the MLP Australia Communications Director.
About Major League Pickleball Australia and Pacific Pickleball:
Pacific Pickleball is the official Professional Pickleball League of Australia featuring the top players, highest prize money, and best events across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Pacific Pickleball offers two formats for athletes including Major League Pickleball Australia’s (MLP Australia’s) Pro Teams Format, and Pacific Pickleball League’s (PPL) Pro Tour Format for both Open and Masters 50+ Athletes, in partnership with Pickleball Australia Association (PAA). Pacific Pickleball aims to grow the total number of Pickleball players in APAC to 1 Million in 2032 by promoting the sport through world-class events, professional pathways for top players, dedicated pickleball venues, and strong partnerships at international, national and grassroot levels; on a journey to bring Pickleball to all.
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