ICC is planning to host the World T20 in the United States of America (USA) within a decade as All-Star Cricket get a huge response from the American sports market, a report said on Tuesday.
The International Cricket Council’s global head of cricket development Tim Anderson said the world governing body had ambitions to further popularise the sport in a country where baseball, basketball and gridiron are more popular.
ICC’s plan of new venture came after thousands of Americans flew to Australia and New Zealand during this years’ 50 over World Cup, which a lucrative broadcast deal with the United States is already worth big money to ICC.
“If we continue to make good progress, we would (hope to) see a World Twenty20 in the USA in the next rights cycle,” Anderson told the Sydney Daily Telegraph, with the newspaper pointing to 2024 as the likely date.
“We think that’d be a great concept. Other sports have done that, not just football, but rugby are doing that with major events as well so we see that as a medium-term goal.”
India to host the World T20 2016 while Australia will host the 2020 edition.
Cricket legends Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar took a number of former cricket stars in the USA for a three-match ICC sanctioned T20 series. The tournament matches played in New Yok, Houston and Los Angeles that attracted large crowds.
Legendary cricketers like Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath have played the tournament.
Now, 50 overs cricket matches will also be played in the USA within a few months, Anderson revealed.
“In the shorter term, our full members are keen to play some big cricket in the USA. I think that’d be a fantastic way to take cricket to a new heartland for the game,” said Anderson.
“There’s already an ODI-accredited venue in Florida (and another potential site in Indianapolis) but, within the next 12-18 months, you could potentially have full members playing cricket (one-day internationals) in the USA.”
In a bid to popularise the game in the USA, ICC is also planning to introduce the in college sports, and grass root programme, the report said.