Dreamcricket USA News

USA Cricket: Pakistan cancels plans to play two T20s against West Indies in Florida this summer

2013 Jun 22 by DreamCricket USA

The Pakistan and the West Indies Cricket Boards could not agree on the two T20 matches in Florida this summer, according to reports that appeared in the Indian media today. ICC has been informed about the potential two-match series following Pakistan's tour of West Indies in July.

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[First published on 6/14/2013.  Updated June 22, 2013 when news of cancellation emerged]

Last week, it was reported that the Pakistan and the West Indies Cricket Boards reached an agreement to play two T20 matches in Florida this summer, according to reports that appeared in the Indian media today.  ICC was informed about the potential two-match series following Pakistan's tour of West Indies in July, it was noted. 

However, on June 22, 2013, a senior PCB official told sections of Indian media that: "The two T20s were part of Pakistan's revised tour to the West Indies which also includes five one-day internationals. But due to time constraints and other issues the matches will now be played in the Caribbean."

A Pakistan versus West Indies series would have presented the most exciting option for any neutral venue cricket in USA both for its ability to attract crowds and from the standpoint of sponsorship revenue.  Because of the large number of immigrants in the U.S. from Pakistan and West Indies, such a series would have been a huge draw at the turnstile, second only to India vs Pakistan, which is regarded as one of the most intense rivalries in sport.

The PCB official told PTI that there were issues lining up the matches at short notice.

According to sources, the two T20 matches were to be played at the Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida, which is USA's only ICC certified venue (picture at right).

The news is a major blow for Lauderhill.  City officials had been reviewing alternative uses for the stadium to sell tickets to fill seats as cricket had failed to sustain the facility and "provide an economic return."  Since the stadium's certification in 2008, the stadium has only seen sporadic use -  New Zealand and Sri Lanka played two T20s in April of 2010 and New Zealand played two T20s against West Indies in June of 2012. 

In fact, the city's Mayor, Richard Kaplan, wrote to ICC in April that his office had proposed additional games to USACA .   The Mayor complained about USACA's unresponsiveness with sanctioning "international and commercial events that want to play at the stadium."

"We implore you to assist us with either considering some other means of holding international games without being held hostage by one uninterested and incapable governing body, or guarantee us some long term plan whereby we can establish a calendar of international events that would help us sustain the facility as it is now," the Mayor wrote.