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T20 World Cup ‘stepping stone’ to building cricket fanbase in US before Los Angeles Olympics | Cricket News – Times of India

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) expressed that the upcoming T20 World Cup, set to take place next month, is poised to elevate cricket’s visibility and appeal in the United States, especially in anticipation of its inclusion in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Scheduled to be co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States in June, the prestigious ICC tournament will unfold across venues in New York, Florida and Dallas.

With baseball reigning supreme in the nation, the ICC remains optimistic that this tournament will be instrumental in establishing cricket’s presence and impact in the American sports landscape.

“The fact that a World Cup has come to the US — the largest sports market in the world — that in itself has generated a lot of interest,” Chris Tetley, the ICC’s head of events, told reporters in a media roundtable on Tuesday.
“This is a key stepping stone for the promotion of the game towards 2028 and beyond in terms of providing world-class cricket for the massive existing fanbase that the sport already has in the US,” he added.
“We are trying to give them something they haven’t had on their doorstep before and maybe pique the interest of the American sports community by telling them that cricket’s actually an older sport in the US than baseball.”
T20 Cricket is set to debut as one of five new sports at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.
Cricket’s sole previous Olympic stint was in 1900 in Paris, where a team representing Great Britain emerged victorious over France.
Eisenhower Park in Nassau County, close to New York, has witnessed the erection of a temporary 34,000-seat stadium featuring a drop-in cricket pitch.
Among its eight slated World Cup matches, the park will stage the eagerly awaited India-Pakistan showdown on June 9.
“We are really happy with the pitch,” said stadium manager Damian Hough. “Everything that we have done has exceeded expectations. I can’t predict scores, that’s for the batters.
“We hope that we have got a typical T20 pitch where there is good bounce, good pace and value for shots. Obviously you want batters to play shots all around the ground.”
Hough and his team pioneered drop-in pitches over a decade ago at Adelaide Oval, where he serves as head curator.
However, establishing the stadium in Nassau County posed distinct challenges, such as nurturing the pitch in the sub-tropical climate of Florida before relocating it 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) north through diverse climatic zones.
Tetley remarked that the stadium would be disassembled following the T20 extravaganza, yet the provision of “world-class facilities” would yield a lasting legacy for cricket in the United States.
(With AFP inputs)

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