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Cricket Growth Will Be Boasted By The Hosting Of T20 WC 2024: USA Cricket Chief Venu Pisike

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The T20 World Cup: The United States of America (USA) will be co-hosting the ICC T20 men’s cricket World Cup 2024 for the first time along with the West Indies and it will attract huge popularity in the growth of cricket in the baseball-playing nation, believes USA cricket chairman Venu Pisike.

The men’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place from June 1-29.

The USA cricket team, who are making their debut in the World Cup will play its first match against neighbours, Canada on June 1. Led by 31-year-old wicket-keeper batter Monank Patel, USA’s squad features some familiar names alongside performers from the recent T20I series against Canada.

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New Zealand all-rounder and 2015 Men’s Cricket World Cup finalist Corey Anderson will also feature in the USA squad. Anderson, who played 13 Tests and 48 ODIs for New Zealand, moved to the USA after 2020 and became eligible to play for them only in 2023. Former Indian first-class cricketer Milind Kumar and former India U-19 player Harmeet Singh are also part of the squad.

“The T20 World Cup tournament will boost the popularity and attract spectators in huge amounts in the USA not only for cricket but also major sports as USA is a huge sporting nation, we just need proper guidance and infrastructure. Our home team will share the experience of playing cricket at such a high level which will eventually help in the individual growth and the team. However, our focus is to take cricket to every doorstep of the country, and when the big team comes and plays cricket here it will surely catalyze the growth of the sport,” Venu Piske told IANS.

In the USA, Eisenhower Park in New York; Broward County in Lauderhill, Florida and Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas, will be the venues. Twenty teams will be divided into four groups of five each for the first round. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super Eight stage. In a bid to prepare for the 20-team tournament, the USA cricket authorities recently had pitches imported from Adelaide in Australia.

Asked about the preparation going around the major ICC tournament, Piske said, “All the major preparations have been completed except New York ground. In a week, New York will be ready where India and Pakistan will play on June 9, and has been closely monitored. India will also meet the USA and Ireland at the temporary 34,000-seat stadium located in Eisenhower Park. Within a few weeks, the stadium will be completed and it will become a wonder of cricketing infrastructure to put up in a very short time.”

The ICC board suspended the membership of the USA Cricket Association back in 2015 with immediate effect and expressed significant concerns about the governance, finance, reputation, and cricketing activities of USACA. However, Piske opined that the new governance will work transparently and will work for the growth of the sport.

“I know we were suspended by the ICC but now we are working very closely with the team and also with the major cricketing bodies like ECB, BCCI, CA, NZC for the benefit of cricket. In the future, we are also planning for a various format bilateral series with big cricketing nations. We are specially in talks with the BCCI who also helped in training for the 2022 WC qualifiers,” Piske concluded.

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