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Cricket tourism and hospitality takes off in the US | Cricket News – Times of India

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WASHINGTON: The presence of a large Diaspora population from cricket-fanatic countries like India, Pakistan and Australia appears to have created a new form of the tourism and hospitality domain in the US.
Founded by an Indian-American couple from Bihar, Florida-based Cricketbuster is trying to capture this “cricket mania” among the Indian-American population and those from the cricket-playing nations by offering them customisable travel packages that include official match tickets, hotels, flights, cruises and many other attractions for international cricket tournaments and the all-important T20 leagues all across the world.
“We are developing sports e-commerce here. We got approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC). We have the right to sell the packages. (Cricket match) tickets are also included in the package. We are creating an experience,” Vinny Kumar, chief operating officer of Cricketbuster, told PTI in an interview.
Kumar along with his wife Rashmi Kumar co-founded this company a few years ago. Beginning with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India last year, Cricketbuster is the official OTA (online travel agency) for the ICC.
“It’s just not that you’re buying a ticket or coming to the stadium. Suppose you’re going to New York because we have an India-Pakistan match there this year… you don’t know which hotel you have to stay in, how far you stay from the stadium, and what other attractions you want to visit in New York,” Kumar said.
“So, we have an all-inclusive package, which has an official match ticket, which is a tough spot to find. In addition to that, we can also help you to find the right hotel, right intercity transfers,” he said in Orlando this week, where he had come to attend the annual convention of Asian American Hotel Owners Association.
“It’s like a one-stop shop, you can just buy the package and you go to the stadium, watch the game and come back. And we will take care of the entire trip. This is what we are trying to do. We have received support from the ICC. We are the only company in the United States who takes care of that,” Kumar said.
The company was founded by the Kumar couple in 2019, but soon the COVID-19 pandemic stuck. However, in 2021, Cricketbuster got its first tournament in Dubai, and it took almost 500 fans from the United States to the United Arab Emirates.
“This year we have the T20 World Cup in the United States. It’s a historical moment for most of the cricket fans in the US. This is like a game changer. We are helping folks to get the official match tickets because of a lot of scams going on. That’s why the ICC appointed us to make sure all the fans get the tickets from the right channel,” said Kumar, an IT entrepreneur by profession.
A cricket fan himself, Kumar said having international cricket matches in the US was a dream for him and many like him.
“It’s not that we have fans only from India. We have fans from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, England, and also from Nepal and Sri Lanka,” he noted.
For the much-hyped India-Pakistan match in New York, Cricketbuster has created two packages.
“So like if you are coming all the way from California, then you have to watch only one match. You have to watch both, so we have an intercity package which costs USD 1599 per person which has intercity transfer and also two-match combo tickets. That package is very popular and people are taking those,” he said.
For somebody who wants a better experience, they have to pay another USD 100 more, it’s going to be USD 1699, he said.

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