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Co-hosting T20 World Cup will expand sports awareness and popularity in country, says USA Cricket chairman



The 2024 T20 Cricket World Cup in the USA will serve multiple purposes, including raising the game’s awareness and popularity among the locals, given Los Angeles is playing host to the 2028 Summer Games, where cricket returns after over a century. The USA’s Cricket Chairman Venu Pisike shared his views on how the country is preparing for the 20-team tournament starting June 1. 

While cricket remains the top sport in most participating nations, it still needs to find its place in the West, mainly in the US and Canada. The ninth edition of the T20 WC will be America’s first when they play their debut game in this tournament against Canada on the opening day. These two teams are drawn in Group A alongside Ireland and two Asian giants, India and Pakistan.

Speaking to the PTI news agency, Pisike remained transparent on his thoughts on the cricket tournament’s introduction to the US, saying it will help build up the momentum, audience, and, eventually, engagement for the LA28 Games. 

“So far, cricket is predominantly an expats’ game, but with the marketing and promotion activities during the World Cup, there is some momentum and the World Cup will definitely boost the opportunities to expand the game in the USA,” Pisike said, as quoted by India Today. 

“Definitely, the World Cup is bringing a lot of awareness, and then the opportunity for cricket to be in the Olympics that will definitely attract the community because the US is a huge sports country.

“The Olympics is the prime area where all the sports bodies are focusing on since cricket is going to the Olympics. That will actually give more opportunities to expand the sport between the World Cup and the Olympics,” he continued.

New York ready for blockbuster tie

While several venues will host games in the Caribbean, only three are chosen in the US, including New York. Pisike said the 34,000-capacity newly-built stadium in the city’s outskirts will be ready in one week, which will host the marquee match between India and Pakistan on June 9.

Besides, the pitch to be used for the game is the drop-in one transported from Adelaide, Australia. 

“So, the new stadium that is being built in New York will be unveiled in a week’s time. It will become a wonder of cricketing infrastructure to put up in a very short time,” he said. 

“The pitches were recently brought in and dropped into the stadium. So, we are expecting decent pitches in terms of striking a balance between the bat and ball.”

The ICC suspended the previous cricketing body in the country owing to government interference and appointed a new one in 2019.

Speaking on the same, Pisike acknowledged the changes.

“The governance will be streamlined with the opportunity to become an Olympic National Governing Body because the US Olympics requires certain guidelines to be followed and certain policies to be adopted. In terms of financial management and other related activities, we are fully in compliance compared to the previous regime,” he added. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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