Wednesday, June 19, 2024

What NJ cricket fans need to know before the USA vs. India match

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The upstarts vs. the veterans. David vs. Goliath.

Those examples of the underdog vs. the favorite can apply to the USA vs. India showdown in the T20 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup if it were 2014.

But when the two teams meet at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Long Island on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the Americans could knock off one of the favorites to win it all in this monthlong tournament based on its performance so far.

Then again, India won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, was the runner-up in 2014 and are currently ranked No. 1 in the world in the T20 format, according to the ICC (International Cricket Council).

Here are some things New Jersey cricket fans need to know about this intriguing matchup, the last one played in New York in this World Cup.

First-timers facing the long-timers

The USA national cricket team was formed in 1965, but this is the first time they qualified for an ICC World Cup tournament until this year. The reason? They are co-hosts of the World Cup with the West Indies national team.

But the American squad has shown cricket fans that they belonged with a comeback victory over their longtime rivals Canada on June 1. Then, they had an upset win on June 6 over Pakistan, the runner-up to England in the 2022 T20 World Cup.

The USA team boasts a solid hitting attack led by their captain Monank Patel, who came from the Indian state of Gujarat to the United States in 2016. He has connections to New Jersey — he was a member of the New Jersey Stallions team in the Minor League Cricket league and is currently a member of MI New York in Major League Cricket. Patel helped the team win the match over Pakistan with 50 runs.

Other top hitters include New York native Aaron Jones, whose 94 runs propelled USA over Canada, and African native Andries Gous. Their bowling attack is led by Saurabh Netravalkar, whose day job is software engineer at the tech company Oracle.

Meanwhile, India is coming into this match with an easy win under its belt over Ireland on June 5, and then their thrilling victory on Sunday over their longtime rivals Pakistan (the match sold out the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium). In that game, India was limited to only 119 runs, but managed to hold their opponent to 113.

The Indian team is led by its captain Rohit Sharma and features star players like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah, who was the Player of the Match on Sunday for his stellar bowling that allowed only 14 runs in 4 overs and produced three wickets.

Both teams are at the top of Group A with two wins in this first stage of the tournament, but only one can come out with a third win. If the match is abandoned due to rain, each team gets a point.

How to watch the India-USA cricket World Cup match

There are still tickets available for the Wednesday match, but they are pricey and going fast.

The ICC T20 Men’s World Cup webpage shows tickets are available from $300 for seats in the Premium section to $7,500 in the Diamond Club.

The ticket broker Stubhub has tickets costing a bit lower and way higher. The lowest-priced ticket on the website Monday was for a pair of tickets for $252 (before fees) while two tickets were selling for the astronomical $54,427 each (yes, before fees).

The gates for the cricket stadium open at 8:30 a.m. Parking will be available near the stadium, but attendees must purchase a parking pass before game day to be allowed into the parking area.

The best way for New Jersey fans to avoid traffic is to take the Long Island Railroad train from Manhattan’s Penn Station to Huntington and get off at the Westbury stop (45-minute trip) where shuttle buses will transport fans to the stadium for a $5.80 round-trip cost.

For those attending, be aware of the following security measures at the stadium:

  • No bags are allowed inside the stadium and no drones are allowed to be flown overhead.
  • Attendees will be required to go through metal detectors when entering the stadium.
  • Eisenhower Park, where the stadium is located, will be closed off to the public from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the World Cup. Also, several streets around the park will be shut down as well.

The spectators who can’t make it to the stadium can watch for free in the public fan park set up for the World Cup at the World Trade Center’s Oculus Plaza, but those attending are requested to reserve a ticket on Eventbrite.

The match can also be watched from the comfort of a home or an office, as Willow TV is the sole cable broadcaster of the World Cup in the United States and Canada. Television providers that carry Willow TV are DISH, Sling, FIOS, Spectrum, Xfinity, Optimum, and Optimum TV.

Ricardo Kaulessar covers race, immigration, and culture for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: kaulessar@northjersey.com

Twitter: @ricardokaul

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