ICC eyeing USA for World T20
Governing body wants to take full advantage of the huge expat population in North America
8 December 2015, 08:50 AM AEST
Cricket's bold bid to break into the American market might lead to a Twenty20 (T20) World Cup being played in the United States within 10 years.
Almost a quarter of the 90,000 international visitors to this year's 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand came from America, with the USA's lucrative broadcast deal already worth big money to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
"If we continue to make good progress, we would (hope to) see a World Twenty20 in the USA in the next rights cycle," the ICC's head of global development Tim Anderson told News Corp Australia.
"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.
Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar recently took a number of former international stars to the US for a three-match T20 series, which was attended by 80,000 fans.
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However, Australia's current biggest names could be playing in the United States, which has up to 10.5 million cricket fans, by as soon as next year.
"In the shorter term, our full members are keen to play some big cricket in the USA," Anderson said.
"I think that'd be a fantastic way to take cricket to a new heartland for the game.
"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."
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Ben Amarfio, Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager - Media, Communications and Marketing, says moving into the college sports programs is crucial and is working in conjunction with the ICC and Anderson to make it happen.
"It’s a very important part," Amarfio said.
"We think it might be hard to get into the division one schools and we know there’s only 24 sports in there at the moment, so it’s a very select few that get in.
"We would probably try and start at a lower level, maybe division three schools and perhaps try that way.
"Every tertiary education authority in the world is looking for students … what better way to attract students from a subcontinental background in particular than to have cricket as an offering."
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