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Cricket bodies get moving to develop the US as a market

MUMBAI: Cricket bodies are interested in developing the US as a market. The BCCI has taken the first step in this with India playing two T20 international matches for the first time in the US against the West Indies.

The move has found support from cricket’s international governing body. The ICC today confirmed its approval for two T20 international matches between India and the West Indies to be held at Fort Lauderdale in the US on 27 and 28 August.

In light of the United States of America Cricket Association’s (USACA) current suspension from ICC membership, and under the ICC’s approved cricket regulations, the ICC is the authority to sanction the staging of cricket matches in the US. Decisions around sanctioning domestic or international cricket will be taken in a manner that supports the ICC’s continued efforts to develop the sport of cricket in the US for the benefit of the entire cricket community there.

David-RichardsonICC chief executive David Richardson said, “The ICC has approved these matches because we believe they can play a significant role in the long-term development of cricket in the US and our ongoing efforts to unify the US cricket community.

“Having the ICC World T20 Champions playing India in Florida will undoubtedly inspire both existing and new fans and players, but perhaps more importantly, the sanction fees will be invested in the ICC’s ongoing work to lay a sustainable foundation for the development of cricket in America.

“This, along with ongoing investment from the ICC to help grow the sport in the US, will be used for specific programmes as part of the ICC’s long-term strategic framework in the US. In line with this strategy, we are working with our stakeholders in the US on the development of a new constitution and governance structure that the entire US cricket community can unify behind. We are absolutely focused on creating a sustainable structure to allow cricket to flourish at all levels in the US.”

Ben Kavenagh of ICC Americas explains how the ICC and sanction fee investment is having an impact in the US. “We are working at a number of levels across the sport in the US at the moment including facilitating events such as the ICC World Cricket League tournament that will be held in Los Angeles, as well as the preparation of the US team and the development of facilities. We are also focusing on coach education that will support growth of local systems and are about to launch an introductory cricket programme across a number of American universities in partnership with NIRSA.

“We will also look to explore how a proportion of the money can be invested locally in Florida around the matches through school and community engagement, but it is important that this is part of a wider plan for cricket there and not just a one-off exercise,” he said.

Richardson added, “We understand that the US cricket community is thrilled at the prospect of international cricket being staged in the US and that this venture has the support of the USACA as well as all of our other stakeholders in the US. We hope this will act as a further catalyst in our attempts to galvanise the governance of the sport in the US.”

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