Cricket Challenges & Opportunities

USA Cricket: ICC sanctions T20s in USA between West Indies and India

2016 Aug 14 by DreamCricket USA

The ICC sanctioned two T20 International matches between India and the West Indies to be held at Fort Lauderdale in the USA on 27 and 28 August 2016.

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The ICC sanctioned two T20 International matches between India and the West Indies to be held at Fort Lauderdale in the USA on 27 and 28 August 2016.  

At $7 million for the two matches, the series' broadcast rights, while priced considerably lower than what matches featuring India typically fetch, were still high enough to make this the most lucrative cricket event in the U.S.   This week, India announced a 14-member squad, which includes most of its top players for the tour including MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane.  

In a media release issued on August 9 announcing that it had sanctioned the series, the ICC asserted that the responsibility of determining whether cricket matches staged in the USA should be sanctioned was with the ICC.  This clarification appeared to forestall any USACA attempts to take legal actions against Broward County, like the lawsuit that was filed in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court ahead of the CPL games last month.  That suit was dismissed by the court.

ICC noted that its decisions for sanctioning domestic or international cricket will be taken in a manner that supports the ICC’s continued efforts to develop the sport of cricket in the USA for the benefit of the entire cricket community.  ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "The ICC has approved these matches because we believe they can play a significant role in the long term development of cricket in the USA and our ongoing efforts to unify the USA cricket community.

"Having the ICC World T20 Champions playing India in Florida will undoubtedly inspire both existing and new fans and players, but perhaps more importantly, the sanction fees will be invested into the ICC’s ongoing work to lay a sustainable foundation for the development of cricket in America.

"This, along with ongoing investment from the ICC to help grow the sport in the USA will be used for specific programmes as part of the ICC’s long-term strategic framework in the USA. In line with this strategy we are working with our stakeholders in the USA on the development of a new constitution and governance structure that the entire USA cricket community can unify behind. We are absolutely focused on creating a sustainable structure to allow cricket to flourish at all levels in the US."

Ben Kavenagh of ICC Americas noted that the sanction fee was having a positive impact on US cricket: "We are working at a number of levels across the sport in the US at the moment including facilitating events such as the ICC World Cricket League tournament that will be held in Los Angeles, as well as the preparation of the US team and the development of facilities. We are also focusing on coach education that will support growth of local systems and we are about to launch an introductory cricket programme across a number of American universities in partnership with NIRSA."

ICC Americas has expanded its activity in the US and has planned and implemented numerous coaching seminars and combines throughout the US since the beginning of 2016.

David Richardson added: "We understand that the USA cricket community is thrilled at the prospect of international cricket being staged in the USA and that this venture has the support of USACA as well as all of our other stakeholders in the USA. We hope this will act as a further catalyst in our attempts to galvanise the governance of the sport in the USA."

In India, BCCI President Anurag Thakur told The Times of India, "These kind of events have two direct benefits -1) The chance to explore new venues, new fans and new areas, and 2) It also promotes cricket in new countries. All this is good for the growth of the game."

"America has round about 3.8 million Indians, and a huge number of Asians. Everyone there is passionate about cricket and they travel across the world to support and watch Team India.  They connect to their roots through cricket and the BCCI thinks that this is the right time and opportunity to take cricket in that part of the world and make it popular."

Tickets are expected to go on sale on Monday.