In a path-breaking initiative, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has approved the proposed two-match Twenty20 International series against the West Indies cricket team in Florida, United States of America later this month. The decision was taken during the board’s Working Committee meeting held in Mumbai. The two games will be played at the Central Broward Regional Park, Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA on August 27 and 28 respectively.
The Indian cricket team, for the first time, will be playing an international match in the United States of America. It will take on reigning World T20 Champions West Indies in a two-match T20 International series in Florida’s Fort Lauderdale. According to reports, the matches will start at 19:30 IST. BCCI president Anurag Thakur said, “As part of our continuous efforts to reach out to new markets and audiences, I am very happy to announce that Team India will play two T20Is against the current world champions West Indies in the United States.”
“This will be a great initiative in our continued efforts to develop cricket in the Americas (North and South America) a very important market,” said Whycliffe Dave Cameron,West Indies Cricket Board President.
India lead 1-0 in their four-test series against West Indies, and the Twenty20 matches will mark the first full member games in the United States in four years, when New Zealand played West Indies.
The Broward Stadium is the only ground in the United States that meets international cricket specifications, and organisers say they have invested about $1.4 million to bring it up to standard including tweaking the floodlights to point at the pitch and erecting big video screens.
The United States would be a big market to crack for cricket bosses. The Twenty20 format is likely to be the most appealing form of the game, in the face of traditional U.S. sports, thanks to explosive batting and a relatively short matches.
“This will be a great opportunity for the cricket fans in America to watch the two champion sides in action. This will be developed into an annual cricketing event in the United States,” BCCI president Anurag Thakur said in a statement. “This will be a great initiative in our continued efforts to develop cricket in the Americas, a very important market,” Whycliffe Cameron, president of West Indies Cricket Board, said.