Cricket set for its historic step in the US with T20 World Cup | Cricket News

Cricket is set to make history on Saturday as the inaugural major tournament unfolds in the United States, kicking off with the T20 World Cup‘s opening match in Texas. This month-long extravaganza of the sport’s swiftest and most dynamic format will span venues across Texas, Florida, New York and the Caribbean islands.
The action commences with the US facing Canada at the Grand Prairie Stadium near Dallas, marking the debut of a significant International Cricket Council (ICC) event in the US.While the majority of the tournament will unfold in the Caribbean, 16 group-stage matches of the 20-team tournament will be hosted on American soil, including the highly anticipated clash between India and Pakistan, set for a 34,000-seat temporary venue in Long Island, New York, on June 9.

ALSO SEE: T20 World Cup Schedule

The remainder of the tournament, including the ‘Super 8s’ stage, semi-finals and the grand final, will take place in the West Indies, culminating at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. Despite cricket’s recreational popularity in the US, particularly in the selected states, organizers are pragmatic about the prospect of engaging mainstream American sports enthusiasts.
American batsman Aaron Jones expressed the team’s determination to captivate American fans, both on and off the pitch.

“Obviously what you do on the field is very important,” Jones said. “We want to get a lot more support from the American born-and-raised people. I think we could only do that by playing good on the field and obviously interacting with the fans or the growing fans off the field as well.”
The ICC views the tournament as a pivotal step towards cricket’s potential return to the Olympics in Los Angeles 2028, where the T20 format is slated for use.
The inception of Major League Cricket, a T20 competition launched last year, stands to gain from any surge in interest in the explosive T20 format. However, the ICC’s focus extends beyond the American market; the tournament’s expansion creates opportunities for emerging cricket nations to vie on the global stage.

In recent years, cricket has diversified beyond its traditional strongholds, with Ireland and Afghanistan securing places among the elite 12 with full Test status. Yet, the ICC perceives the T20 format as instrumental in driving the sport’s growth. This year’s edition introduces three T20 World Cup debutants: the USA, Canada and Uganda.
Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Oman, among others, represent relatively new entrants on the grand stage, eager to leave their mark and pull off noteworthy upsets.
Divided into four groups of five teams, with only the top two progressing, the smaller nations are unlikely to advance beyond the group stage. Consequently, there’s a risk that the pool stage may predominantly serve as a process of elimination.

India, inaugural winners in 2007, emerge as favorites with a lineup bolstered by seasoned campaigners, promising talent and stars from the Indian Premier League. Australia, champions of the ODI World Cup last year and the World Test Championship, have omitted veteran batsman Steve Smith, relying on the firepower of David Warner and the pace duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
Other formidable contenders include defending champions England, sans the star of their 2022 victory, Ben Stokes, who’s managing his fitness post a knee operation. England’s preparation includes a convincing seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in London.
Co-hosts West Indies, victors in 2012 and 2016, aspire to capitalize on their familiarity with the regional playing surfaces. Meanwhile, South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan all harbor aspirations of making a substantial impact in a tournament renowned for its surprises.
(AFP Photo)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl