Monday, May 27, 2024

USA Cricket bats for T20 World Cup impetus – EasternEye

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America is co-hosting the event alongside West Indies, and the US team will also be making its World Cup debut when it faces Canada in the tournament-opener on June 1.  

The Nassau County
international cricket stadium at Eisenhower Park will host some
of India’s World Cup games.

By:
Eastern Eye

THE T20 World Cup will spread cricket awareness in the US, but eventually, it is the lure of competing in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics that will attract local Americans to the game that is mainly played by expats, USA Cricket chairman Venu Pisike said.

 America is co-hosting the event alongside West Indies, and the US team will also be making its World Cup debut when it faces Canada in the tournament-opener on June 1.  

The US team is mainly made up of semi-professional cricketers of south Asian heritage, with former New Zealand star Corey Anderson also switching allegiance to his adopted homeland of America.  

In addition, former Indian firstclass cricketer Milind Kumar and former India U-19 player Harmeet Singh are part of the squad.  

Pisike agreed it was a challenge to take cricket to the masses in the US.  

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

“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.

Venu Pisike

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

 The World Cup will be played across three venues in the US, but the facility under close watch is in New York, where India and Pakistan face off on June 9. India will also play Ireland and the USA in the 34,000 capacity makeshift stadium in Eisenhower Park.  

The US did not train in India with the World Cup taking place at home, but Pisiki has sought the help of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to train his players after the mega event. “Yes, definitely, (we are talking to the BCCI).  

In the past, we have sent our men’s team to Karnataka before they participated in the CWC qualifiers in 2022. And there was some alliance with the associations, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and Andhra Cricket Association to send our under-19 boys before the World Cup to be held in Sri Lanka,” he said. “There are several discussions with the various cricket associations, and we will definitely want to partner and use the resources available. That is something we definitely will look into for the future.” 

 The BCCI recently made it clear that associate nations could not directly get in touch with Indian state units, and all requests have to be routed through the parent body. 

 The previous cricket body in the US was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) due to governance issues. The current regime was given recognition in 2019. 

 Acknowledging the challenges, Pisike said, “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.” 

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