May 21, 2010

Cricket in gator country

The significance of the Sri Lanka versus New Zealand bilateral T20 series, which is due to kick off on May 22nd, is considerably enhanced by a quick look at the location of their clash: Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida; a classic
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The New Zealand - Sri Lanka series could open the door for cricket to take root in the US © CCUSA

The significance of the Sri Lanka versus New Zealand bilateral T20 series, which is due to kick off on May 22nd, is considerably enhanced by a quick look at the location of their clash: Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida; a classic "no-bad-seats-in-the-house" ballpark common in the minor-league baseball world.

International cricket has finally arrived in the US. And unsurprisingly it is the T20 variant that has breached the ramparts and made it over the top.

There are several reasons why this development should be of interest. Firstly, a new international venue in a minor cricketing country always holds the potential to broaden cricket's player and fan base (success in Florida might see the development of a parallel situation in California).

Secondly, for the fans that live in the US in semi-exile, this provides a fix for the craving for live cricket. Lastly, and most significantly for me, cricket in the US has always been shown in its genteel, park cricket variant. One of my beefs with Joseph O'Neill's excellent Netherland was that his authorial energies and talents were devoted to lyrical descriptions of relatively mellow park cricket. This will be top-class international cricket, and in a small venue, the power, speed and athleticism of a T20 cricketer will be on full display for an American viewer (and will hopefully lead us away from the situation I bemoaned in these columns some time ago).

Thirdly, there are several lip-smacking potential matchups possible in the future. Obviously, any game involving India will attract large crowds but I suspect West Indies, England, and Pakistan games would also do well. Florida is easily accessible from those areas on the East Coast that feature large Indian, Pakistani and West Indian populations (Florida itself is home to a large immigrant community from the Caribbean). English fans are numerous on the East Coast and will no doubt travel in significant numbers. Given the globetrotting capacities of the Barmy Army, they will feature at Florida games (what's not to like about a destination featuring beaches and beer?).

In general, Fort Lauderdale's proximity to East Coast cities and the short-n-sweet nature of the series makes for a great cricketing vacation. Jump on a short flight to Florida, rent a car, check into a hotel, hit the beaches, go to the game, then back to the beaches after the game. (Harried parents might combine this with a Disneyland trip up north).

Most ambitiously, I forecast the following: young Americans, no matter what their ethnic background, might be sufficiently enthused by the international version of the game to think about playing the game seriously. It is not inconceivable that down the line there will be Americans vying for spots in the future global versions of the IPL, participating in a true free market of cricketing labour. OK, I'm done with my pipedreams.

There are concerns, of course (the floodlight snafu is a small example). Will the pitches be conducive to good cricket? The local authorities have taken this seriously and appear to have sought expert assistance in the form of a Kiwi groundsman. Will the games have the atmosphere associated with an international T20? Given the India-Pakistan experiences in Toronto, I don't see why not. Will large enough crowds turn up to make this into a worthwhile investment? As indicated above, I think that for the right matchups, finding large crowds will not be a problem, provided the local association gets the word out at the right time in the right places.

Cricket in the US might still go the way of many other curiosities that have made splashy appearances on these shores, only to be followed by slides into obscurity. For now though, it's time to give the Destination USA folks' adventure a fair chance.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • WP Themes on July 1, 2010, 0:40 GMT

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  • Hitesh Lohani on June 11, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    Sorry, I seem to have miscalculated my assumption of NY-FL distance. Yes, it will at least take 20+ hours to reach there. My bad for saying 6-7 hours earlier. Now that I think of it, that's NY-DC distance and Washington DC is far from Florida.

  • cricketiloveit on May 29, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    I was at the 2nd match and was quite impressed with the facilities except the wicket which spoilt to some extent the occasion. Nevertheless it was a good start. Bring on India & Pakistan to ensure a really good crowd. Also I think they need to market this form of cricket under another name in the US. Americans are fiercely proud of their homegrown games & some people regard games from the former colonial master as eccentric & un-American. Give it some sort of zippy name (PowerPlay or something similar that sounds exciting for this instant gratification seeking & reality show society) & market it that way (cricket can be in the sub-text). Even on a bad day cricket (especially 20/20) has more excitement in 6 balls than happens in a whole baseball game. It just has to be marketing right. Cricket also has the advantage of natural breaks that makes it a superb game for commercial TV - because in the end sport in the US is all about money (one of the reasons why soccer is still not big).

  • A Cricket Enthusiast on May 27, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    Re:Chris - Wish you all the very best in your endeavours

  • Getting An Ex Back on May 26, 2010, 0:23 GMT

    This post provides the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very good one and gives indepth info. many thanks for this nice post.

  • CS on May 24, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Should have just waited they get a stadium going in New Jersy or something. The best way to promote cricket in USA is by exposing school kids to it.

  • Karan on May 23, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    Cricket in the US will never ever become a mainstream sport. US has over six proper sports with statewide attention and over exposure. There is simply no room and need for another sport a'la golf or an english version(T20) of bang-bang baseball. There are not enough south asian fans to sustain the sport either. As rightly said, let america play their own games..

  • pankaj on May 23, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    well, after all it's a huge step taken by USAKA, Mr. locerbie needs to be applauded for all this it's because of him this has been possible. Now what the full members or ICC needs to do is play gemes in states on annual basis,and i think it will bear fruit sooner rather than later.

  • chris price on May 23, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Didnt even show it in NZ, What I have read the pitch was not really up to scratch, We have this chance to put cricket in front of the US and we need good pitch good advertising and a vocal wild crowd to show it it its best. What was the attendence???

  • Shahid on May 23, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    If this is the best pitch that you can offer in the USA then forget about ANY international cricket establishing in USA. Pathetic to see accomplished batsmen being reduced to scratching for runs. BAD pitches will kill any chances of cricket firing the imagination of Americans.

  • WP Themes on July 1, 2010, 0:40 GMT

    Good post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.

  • Hitesh Lohani on June 11, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    Sorry, I seem to have miscalculated my assumption of NY-FL distance. Yes, it will at least take 20+ hours to reach there. My bad for saying 6-7 hours earlier. Now that I think of it, that's NY-DC distance and Washington DC is far from Florida.

  • cricketiloveit on May 29, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    I was at the 2nd match and was quite impressed with the facilities except the wicket which spoilt to some extent the occasion. Nevertheless it was a good start. Bring on India & Pakistan to ensure a really good crowd. Also I think they need to market this form of cricket under another name in the US. Americans are fiercely proud of their homegrown games & some people regard games from the former colonial master as eccentric & un-American. Give it some sort of zippy name (PowerPlay or something similar that sounds exciting for this instant gratification seeking & reality show society) & market it that way (cricket can be in the sub-text). Even on a bad day cricket (especially 20/20) has more excitement in 6 balls than happens in a whole baseball game. It just has to be marketing right. Cricket also has the advantage of natural breaks that makes it a superb game for commercial TV - because in the end sport in the US is all about money (one of the reasons why soccer is still not big).

  • A Cricket Enthusiast on May 27, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    Re:Chris - Wish you all the very best in your endeavours

  • Getting An Ex Back on May 26, 2010, 0:23 GMT

    This post provides the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very good one and gives indepth info. many thanks for this nice post.

  • CS on May 24, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Should have just waited they get a stadium going in New Jersy or something. The best way to promote cricket in USA is by exposing school kids to it.

  • Karan on May 23, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    Cricket in the US will never ever become a mainstream sport. US has over six proper sports with statewide attention and over exposure. There is simply no room and need for another sport a'la golf or an english version(T20) of bang-bang baseball. There are not enough south asian fans to sustain the sport either. As rightly said, let america play their own games..

  • pankaj on May 23, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    well, after all it's a huge step taken by USAKA, Mr. locerbie needs to be applauded for all this it's because of him this has been possible. Now what the full members or ICC needs to do is play gemes in states on annual basis,and i think it will bear fruit sooner rather than later.

  • chris price on May 23, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Didnt even show it in NZ, What I have read the pitch was not really up to scratch, We have this chance to put cricket in front of the US and we need good pitch good advertising and a vocal wild crowd to show it it its best. What was the attendence???

  • Shahid on May 23, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    If this is the best pitch that you can offer in the USA then forget about ANY international cricket establishing in USA. Pathetic to see accomplished batsmen being reduced to scratching for runs. BAD pitches will kill any chances of cricket firing the imagination of Americans.

  • Michael on May 23, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    Well done. Nice pitch. Thanks for such an underwhelming debut.

  • Kirk on May 23, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    Why does everybody wanna see teams like India and Paki play!! Correct me if im wrong, but it was NZ that started the series with the US Board, I like NZ playing over there but i'd rather it was somebody like Aus, England or South Africa we played. Over NZ V Lanka clashes!! weve proven to be better than them lately ;)

  • Sohrab Swing on May 23, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    The first match told the entire story. Bad pitch, slow match, plus minimum number of spectators. Come on admit, Cricket in America is an overstretch.

  • sam on May 23, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    As an Aussie living In NYC , this really excites me.I don't expect cricket to be as big as baseball, who would ever think it would be? what it does do is strengthen the base already here. mostly ex pats etc plus it gives a chance to attract new fans as well. For that twenty 20 is the perfect tool to showcase the sport. short sharp and over in three hours , which would suit the American mind set.

    so yeah in my mind its a win win.

  • Arif Hussain on May 23, 2010, 1:06 GMT

    Of course would like two subcontinental play each other in NYC. I think that would draw a large crowd. But I think they should also have India versus popular white teams like England and Australia. Many of Americans think that cricket is for foreigners, so if Australia plays against England, it will appeal to many white Americans

  • Amit on May 23, 2010, 0:16 GMT

    It's interesting that there are a few folks in this comment string that are new to cricket, and now love Test cricket. I totally feel the same way and ironically, I think t20 will motivate new fans to get more into cricket, and there is nothing like test cricket in my opinion.

    I'm really glad to see this. Test cricket is really where you can see your favorite players perform and showcase their skills.

    I live in California, was born in Bombay, came here when I was 4 months old and played baseball my whole childhood, from little league through high school. All it took was a trip to India in the late 90's when I played cricket with my cousins and friends on a small ground in Gujarat, and I was hooked. Picked up a bat and kit and began playing and watching ever since.

    I think this was the right step for the US in terms of cricket and we are on the cusp of bigger and better things. The first few years will be uncertain, but it will all pay off.

  • shash on May 22, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    ALL think only india and pakistan can play cricket, well india have lost 8 of its last 12 T20, and pakistan are under surveillance for match fixing..guys please go and have a life.....NZ and SL play far better cricket than the so caled Ind and Pak

  • Shaheryar Rajput on May 22, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    Make a match that involves India, Pakistan or West Indies. Who would have intrest in Sri Lanka or New Zealand

  • B'Caran on May 22, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    This is a great time for cric lovers in US.I hope 2020 world cup T20 games will be in US....

  • Arosha on May 22, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    Ohh It will be a great moement in cricket.Sri lanka such a wonderfull cricket team to see.So we are so happy that sri lanka playing in USA.

    GO GO

  • Rehan Herath on May 22, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    This is a good day for Sri Lanka,it is not the numbers that matters but the brand of cricket and the country who revolutionised hard hitting in 1996 world cup and introduced novelties in 20/20 like Dilscoop would do well to catch heart and minds of USA to bolster the image of cricket in USA. Rehan Herath - Kent

  • Aravind on May 22, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    I really wanted to go to the first even T20 int in USA, but I refuse to pay those stupid fees that Ticketmaster.com charges. I was trying to find a package deal for airfare/hotel/tickets but can't find one. Maybe next time.

  • CT on May 22, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    This series won't have any impact on crickets popularity in north america, unfortunately. I really wish it would. What would it take to create interest...pregame advertising, a major tv network showing the games during prime time with famous sportscasters in the booth. Teams from places that north americans have heard about before (West Indies at least). Sorry NZ and SL, I love watching you guys play but I'm just being real here. Otherwise cricket is relying on word of mouth to further the game. Try to tell the average joe that cricket is great, and he'll give you an earfull of why it sucks, and will probably laugh at you. All that being said, the time is right for T20 to make an impact, people are tired of overpaid baseball players getting caught taking steroids. I've been watching and playing baseball my entire life and from my experience, as a fan, T20 is just as good, and maybe even more than entertaining than baseball. I guess i wouldn't write this unless I believed in the game.

  • Ausfan on May 22, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    As a whole I do not think it will have much of an impact on cricket except maybe for a few in florida. I live in NY & I cannot watch the espn3.com live matches due to some problem with my cable provider & espn having some deal. Might be a problem for a few of the people who want to watch but cant. I wonder if they took any time for small adverts on espn or espn2 for the espn3.com free live matches so some curious viewers might watch just on the spur. I cannot see it becoming anything big yet but with good teams and proper advertising and maybe even a national telecast where the game is intentionally fixed so theres lots of runs to attract viewers.

  • Neutral guy on May 22, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    Of all teams, why NZ and SL? NZ doesn't draw crowds even when they play in NZ! and SL is one of the most boring teams to watch. It is important to have big crowds, given the context of this game. Teams from Aus, SA, Eng, Ind would have been better choice to balance between quality of cricket and crowd-pulling capability.

  • Janak Dahal on May 22, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    We had not pre registered for a hotel!! alomost all the hotel were full due to some convention but luckily we got a good deal in sheraton!! about to sleep now but lookin forward to the match !! excited!! go NZ.

  • Jaam on May 22, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    Congratulations to the organisers of this wonderful event. To all those who are trying to pass the negative comments; you have forget that Anerica is country made by the imigrants and being run buy imigrants, whome a large number comes from cricket playing nations like Australia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, England, Carribean, Pakistan etc etc. Being an immigrant from one of those cricket loving country I can tell you one thing that during last 10 years in this country, I have dream about watching cricket live in this beautiful land. It today is the day when my dream is going to come true. I am gonna watch it LIVE regardless if my team is playin or not. And I can tell you one thing that if this continues, withing 10 years your will see all the Americans are going to watch cricket as they watch baseball today.

    Hats off to all the supporters. God bless you all.

  • Vimukthi on May 22, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Obviously this is going to be a delightful occation for an americans specially those who love to watch cricket.for the first time, time has come them to see the big names in world cricket infront thier eyes.

  • BSK on May 22, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    Sri Lanka is the best and kiwis have no chance against us. It is great to see cricket in USA. anyway I dont think India vs pakisthan matches would do better than SL vs NZ because Americans would not care for two untalented cricket nations like India and Pakistan.Sri Lanka is a country with great respect to humanity. We are very lucky get rid of terrorist who destroyed our beautiful nation. We sinhalese treat tamils like our brothers no matter wat others think. We are all one small country.

  • Ravi Jesubatham on May 22, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    We have a small contingent of Sri Lankan supporters from The Bahamas headed to Florida for this historic event (International cricket in the USA). We are looking forward to two exciting matches.

  • Kris Anand on May 22, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    It is nice to here,finally Cricket is in USA, why not the USA cricket team is not playing in it, eventhough they have a team and site etc., they should have played and this should be advertised as well, I am thinking it is purely of ICC's not planned so well to start in USA to begin without advertisement and not including the USA team, it is good for NZ and SL teams they can enjoy in there, but it should benefit US in the form of USA team as well to advertise cricket in USA better.

  • Bandu on May 22, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    Really, this must be one of the most naive blog that I have seen for a while. man, grow up. If these kind of ventures succeed, then it has to be Indo-Pak series in NYC, where there is a large following. Somehow, this needs to be televised and also be available on the internet to make an impact on real US viewers. Good marketing is the strategy. Bingo! Love you all cricket lovers, ever so optimistic.

  • NAS on May 22, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    For any success there needs to be an accessible television market. Until the the rights for TV ownership start to mandate more reasonable prices for the pay per view market there is no chance of success. I would love to show my Nth American friends some international cricket but at $70 to watch a game on TV, you have to be kidding!

  • Ravi on May 22, 2010, 2:17 GMT

    Would be interesting to see cricket in the US. If it is given the right kind of advertising and promotion, it might catch up with the public. We dont know how people react. We got to try and see if they react favorably. The cable companies like Time Warner, Comcast, etc should take up broadcast rights. Have a USA team play against the bigwigs like Australia, India, England, Pakistan, etc. Have the T20 version played! It will surely catch up.

  • Anonymous on May 22, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    hi sports need only qulity. player can come any contrey.

  • Anonymous on May 22, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    hi sports need only qulity. player can come any contrey.

  • McGinty on May 22, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    What makes people think a IND-PAK game would have a more positive impact than NZ-SL?

    So we can have gutless bowling efforts and pitiful fielding and dropped catches to promote the game of cricket to USA?

    Please.

  • Chris on May 22, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    I am as white and American as they come, but I have started a tapeball cricket club in Bennington, Vermont and have been recruited (and then rehired) to teach cricket in an after school program. It only takes one acorn to grow a mighty oak, and there's plenty of fertile soil in the US. To all the naysayers I say "Patience!" And to all the positive voices of support I say thanks and keep up the hard work - it will pay off before you know it and we'll have cricket aplenty in the US of A.

  • Shaheryar Rajput on May 21, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    It should've been a NZ vs. Ind or N.Z vs W.I or NZ vs. Pak. These teams are crazy about cricket and have big community in the sunshine state. Now if you bring Sri Lanka in, like come on mostly americans don't have any intrest in teams like Sri Lanka. So why bring it. Well I'am waiting for the game tommorow i hope it's house-packed. I'am watchin it on ESPN3. Next time Please bring some entertaing team to the U.S. I'am a Pakistani and I hope Sri Lanka wins.

  • Shaheryar Rajput on May 21, 2010, 23:49 GMT

    It should've been a NZ vs. Ind or N.Z vs W.I or NZ vs. Pak. These teams are crazy about cricket and have big community in the sunshine state. Now if you bring Sri Lanka in, like come on mostly americans don't have any intrest in teams like Sri Lanka. So why bring it. Well I'am waiting for the game tommorow i hope it's house-packed. I'am watchin it on ESPN3. Next time Please bring some entertaing team to the U.S. I'am a Pakistani and I hope Sri Lanka wins.

  • CT on May 21, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    I'm a Canadian who grew up watching and playing hockey, baseball and football, I'm definitely a huge sports fan. Trust me here when I say that the majority of sports fans in North America would laugh at the mention of cricket, and I was one of them. I WAS one of them until I happened to be in India in 2008 and the IPL was on, I didn't even realize that I was watching cricket at first because it wasn't what I thought cricket was all about. I saw brightly coloured cricket jerseys, huge stadiums packed with fans, and players were smashing the ball at every opportunity. I found it very entertaining, and that's what counts because sports is entertainment. I was hooked, and even though I now love test cricket more than anything, T20 is the future, in terms of TV rights and packing people in the stands. I was in Barbados during the T20 world cup and it was a blast. Even the wives, who were kinda pissed off that we were spending vacation time at the oval, wanted to go to every game.

  • bazz on May 21, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Yet another round of comments twisted to focus on Pak and Indian cricket... What makes you think USA would care about those 2 countries playing each other? In a country that is heavily prejudicial towards middle eastern countires, why the heck would they care about the rivalvery. It seems to me that Indian and Pakistani fan think the rest of the world idolises them... alas that is not true. Comparisons can be made between the ashes and Ind/Pak: Overrated!

    This is about Sri Lanka and NZ bringing the game to the US. Good luck with that, hopefully it will be a full house. I cant see it boosting player numbers, and it certainly wont help their test game. But one gets the feeling test cricket is on the way out...

  • Ashok Rajamani on May 21, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    Cricket's American audience will have to come from baseball players. Baseball at its finest is a very graceful and subtle sport while managing to end under 4 hours. Cricket's 3 hour version is quite ugly & strategy-less, and nobody in the US has time to watch a 5 day test match. Unless cricket comes up with a more beautiful 3 hour format (where the bowler bowls to take wickets and not to prevent runs), it is doomed both in the USA and elsewhere.

  • Persaud on May 21, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    It is a great achievement by all to have International cricket played in the USA for the first time.

    I understand the reason for NZ vs SRI LANKA and it will never-the-less be great games, but if it was INDIA vs WEST INDIES the energy and excitment that would have create may not ever recreate in cricket history.

    I said this based on alot of reasons as follows: 1 Most of these two team fans are living on the east coast. 2 It is inexpensive to travel from any where in the USA and Southern Canadian Provices to Fort Lauderdale Florida. 3 There are numerous low cost accommmodations in the whole of the Sunshine state. 4 Almost every West Indian family have a relative lives in close the arena and these nation are cricket crazy.

  • Fizal Sharief on May 21, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    It will only get better. All we can do as cricket fans is to support in every which way, instead of finding faults about the venue, which teams are playing and timing etc.etc. It just needs a little more advertising and getting the word out. Even locally there are many people who is a fan of cricket and did not know of this event, let alone those Americans who have never heard of cricket, except it is bug or something. I think with all the money that is spending to get this event underway, should have went a little further in spending just a little more to get the word out. Just sending out more flyers, tv ads (local), local paper advertising etc. I am so positive that with better advertising that stadium will be a full house. I am going to enjoy some good live cricket tomorrow. I can't wait. Sangakarra vs Vetorri. I will be a knock out. Cheers

  • m.s.sohaib mohamed on May 21, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    i like to play us team...

  • Isaac on May 21, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    A "no contact" sport like cricket will not prevail in the US. At least not now. Too boring.

  • Rohan on May 21, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    Hitesh, You live in NY and it will take you 6-7 hrs to drive almost 1300 miles?? Surely you must drive the batmobile...

  • nhusain on May 21, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    We want to see the USA play as well. Not only the foreign teams. Also in the future Pakistan vs India and USA as a third team.

  • Rehan Herath on May 21, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    Hats off both to Sri Lanka & NZ.This should be a good series as both have done well in the recent 20/20 cup.

    Rehan Herath Kent

  • siva on May 21, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    First some one improve the live coverage of all the matches. Some of the cable companies are giving for free - but majority like Comcast, Time-warner are not yet.

  • Valan on May 21, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    Sri Lanka get an opportunity to hide their "Crimes Against Tamils" using Cricket. Sri Lanka should be banned untill they start respecting human rights. Cricket should not be allowed to hide Sri Lankan Government attrocities against Tamils.

  • Ro on May 21, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    Agree with neilb. There is no chance whatsoever that cricket will ever catch on in the USA. The only chance you have is to lure other stick and ball sports fans. You are not going to attract football and basketball fans so you might as well forget about them. What you are left with is baseball fans who are very loyal to that sport. There is no way they will ever switch over to watching cricket. Baseball is a great sport and has a lot to offer. I am of indian origin and been a fan of cricket for a long time. But I am also a big fan of the newyork yankees and watch all 162 games in the baseball season. Baseball is tied to america's history & culture. So you are basically trying to compete with something you can never beat. Give up and go explore markets like China. You have a better shot of succeeding.

  • Al Ma on May 21, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    I live in LA in CA. I like cricket, as well as, Basketball and Football (american). Sports-wise, Cricket cannot match their intensity and entertainment. Especially basketball, where the scores rise evenly with ball changing hands many hands every minute and a healthy amount of physical contact. But sports is all about corporate sponsorship (imagine golf-coverage). I dont see cricket getting much visibility yet, especially when much more popular games like soccer, rarely gets into our living our-rooms in USA. Cricket will be an also-ran in USA. If cricket ever becomes an Olympic sport, it will get a little more visibility but not much.

  • Jeremy Nirmal on May 21, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    I disagree with Vinay. Immigrants do spend money if its something they really want. If South asians specifically didnt spend money then cricket wouldn't even be available on dish or directv for the high price that it is. What South Asians do very well is forget about cricket very quickly. Instead of teaching it to their kids and trying to create a market for the sport, Most south asians turn their kids toward studies and Caribbean immigrants go to other sports such as football, soccer, or even basketball. If cricket doesnt move forward we are to blame. Besides, one of soccer's biggest draws was that it wasnt as dangerous as football. With cricketers not even wearing gloves, how do you expect cricket to compete with baseball.

    And Hitesh. 607 hours from NY to FL? You are stupid. It takes about 20 hours to drive. And yes I dont see people flocking in huge numbers from across the nation to watch a pointless contest. World cup maybe, but a pointless match I just dont see it.

  • Jeremy Nirmal on May 21, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    I disagree with Vinay. Immigrants do spend money if its something they really want. If South asians specifically didnt spend money then cricket wouldn't even be available on dish or directv for the high price that it is. What South Asians do very well is forget about cricket very quickly. Instead of teaching it to their kids and trying to create a market for the sport, Most south asians turn their kids toward studies and Caribbean immigrants go to other sports such as football, soccer, or even basketball. If cricket doesnt move forward we are to blame. Besides, one of soccer's biggest draws was that it wasnt as dangerous as football. With cricketers not even wearing gloves, how do you expect cricket to compete with baseball.

    And Hitesh. 607 hours from NY to FL? You are stupid. It takes about 20 hours to drive. And yes I dont see people flocking in huge numbers from across the nation to watch a pointless contest. World cup maybe, but a pointless match I just dont see it.

  • Ali Wazir on May 21, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Organisers should have arranged a Pak-Ind T20 instead of SL-NZ. It would have attracted many many more people.

  • AKBAR on May 21, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    US has always been a new window for cricketing activities since long because of its commercial value. I remember Pak played WI in USA in late 80,s or early 90,s. Imran took Pak team there & played the matches on a track & field events ground. Then there was some other team as well,visiting America. Off late their is some talk of an IPL type tournament there. The fact is that cricket is only popular in asian or West indian expatriots. Recently the local population is showing some interest in the game. May be because of the T20 cricket.Since it has become very similar to baseball.

  • BG on May 21, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    I agree with neilb, there is no chance for cricket to ever make it into the main stream American sports market. It would be like Aussie rules football trying to break into the Indian sports market. It's just not going to happen. As a New Zealander living in the USA, I can tell you that Americans don't understand cricket and have very little interest in trying to understand it. The sporting niche that cricket occupies in other countries, is filled by Baseball in the USA. There is no place for cricket in the USA.

  • Ray on May 21, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    @ Umair

    hell NO! I dont want to see those beardy idiots or Indias here. I want cricket to have good impression. teams that can take good catches, field good. not some religious guys, praying in the middle of the field. That will just ruin cricket here.

    Teams like Australia will make it big in the US. because they have star quality, athleticism, and entertaining.

  • Shaunak Kashyap on May 21, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    @Vinay:

    Most cricket-loving expats hold well-paying jobs typically in the software, medical, financial and legal sectors. You are absolutely right that these expats work very hard all week long. In fact, some work well into weekends as well. Surely such folks would consider going to a 3-hour cricket game an affordable break from their busy lives.

    Also, one of the main reasons soccer hasn't caught on in the US is because there are hardly any opportunities for TV ad breaks. In comparison, cricket offers at least a 30-second break every 4-5 minutes (between overs). Advertisers will be all over such an opportunity. Once advertisers line up, TV channels will line up as well for broadcasting rights. Once the sport is broadcast, it will start catching on with Americans (Caucasians as well as others).

  • NIMESH on May 21, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Play India and Pakistan in Tristate area and you would need a stadium bigger than Eden Garden.

  • Shaunak Kashyap on May 21, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    I play in a local league in San José, California. One of the players in my team is a Caucasian American college student. He is one of our best outfielders and is probably the only guy who works on his batting outside of game days. The kicker, however, is that this guy has started a coaching program at an area high school for cricket.

    So I really don't think your dreams are pipedreams at all.

  • Nik on May 21, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    @Hitesh,6-7 hrs from NY to Fl!! 1250 miles?? @ALL who are conservative on Cricket in USA! Its a process! It takes time! T20 would never make major american sport but for sure will be a major hit immigrant sport. Having the right Executives mind makes a hell lot of a difference in Free Economy such a America. Anyone for L Modi?!?

  • Krishnan iyer on May 21, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    We needed the dates / tickets a month in advance to travel from West Coast to Fl. Didn't get that, but now I am hosting a cub scout party at home, thanks to ESPN/Cricinfo live telecast, cubscouts from my son's den will watch and I will be there to explain the whole deal!

  • Janak Dahal on May 21, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    I am leaving New Orleans to go see the match today!! I am absolutely excited. I am from Nepal but since I have an official NZ jersey, I am gonna support NZ tomorrow. I have never seen a international cricket match before on the ground so I am looking forward to this match. Miami and cricket is going to be the best destination for me to enjoy this summer break. Cricket is awesome and thanks for bringing it to United States of America.

  • Raghu on May 21, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    I hope ICC has planned some fun sessions on Friday/Saturday where the cricketers have some workshops for folks/kids coming to the ground to play & teach them basis of cricket. If not, the game will not get publized at all...

  • Sadick on May 21, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Splendid idea to launch the T20 version of the game. Should have advertised on TV to the American Public to go and see Cricket baseball style.We have to target/attract non cricket lovers to be successful.Die hard cricket fans will attend no matter what.Plus will be a great inspiration and opportunity to our youths.

  • Nikhil on May 21, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Never mind, get an Indian team to play here and 20k capacity will seem ridiculously small. And it can be any Indian Team. India A, India B etc etc

  • Hitesh Lohani on May 21, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    There are several things you are mistaken on. First the East coast is huge. I live in New York and it will take me 6-7 hours to reach there by car (provided there is no traffic on I-95). That too for an NZ vs. SL game. Though these two teams have played some good contests before, I wouldn't spend so much time effort to travel to Florida. The timing also sucks. High school and college kids (like me) have final exams towards the end of may and early june. Even the most cricket obsessed student (again like me) wouldn't even think of going to watch the game unless living near the fort lauderdale area. This contest should have been held 2 weeks from now and I assure you, people would have flown out to watch the game. Of course, this is an initial series, but for the next time USACA and ICC, take other factors into account. I am happy cricket is coming to my country, the US, but I will never sacrifice my final exams to watch it.

  • neilb on May 21, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    I live in NY, I follow American sports closely, I spend hours with American sports fans, and I love cricket -- IMHO cricket stands less than an ice cube's chance in hell of ever breaking through the American sports barrier. Baseball is a breathtakingly wonderful sport, and so is test cricket, but 20-20's cheap imitation will fool no one.

  • Faisal Akhtar on May 21, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    This is indeed a great day for cricket in the United States. People like myself have been keeping the flame lit for a while now, having a series of this magnitude will no doubt bring a feeling of satisfaction to all the cricketers in the United States. Earlier I met the Treasurer of USACA Mr. John Thickett who told me that a future series between India and Pakistan is very much a possibility. However for the cash strapped USACA that is a bigger bite than they could chew for now.

    The possibility of Sachin, Sehwag, Afridi, Gul fighting it out in the beautiful state of Florida! Now that would be something to behold...

  • Vinay on May 21, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    Pipe dreams it is Mr Chopra. American Viewership? rephrase expats who labor whole week long and count every penny they earn. spending money is not what immigrants do. Americans (Caucasians) spend on American sports only. Soccor still have not caught up with American population. It is still restricted to South American immigrants. US Cricket authority ran by West Indians are too busy with their infighting. Indians are too greedy and will pave way to Bribes. Sharad Pawar and company will line up to be the President of US Cricket. so what their own country is suffrring from basic ration inflation due to Agriculture ministers priorities are Cricket and Farm lands being developed in to overly priced apartment complexes for all the NRI's. Most importantly American Media has given a very little support to Soccor and imagine cricket competing for a spot with NFL, NBA, NHL?? None the less US economy can use tourist from Cricket Playing nation. Please come to USA and spend your money.

  • Max on May 21, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    It is appropriate to apply the period (full-stop) inside the parenthesis when a complete sentence is contained within parenthesis.

  • Umair on May 21, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    You wrote:

    >> Will the games have the atmosphere associated with an international T20? Given the India-Pakistan experiences in Toronto, I don’t see why not.

    Be realistic. NZ vs SL rivalry does not compare with Pak-Ind.

    [[I meant in general - this includes games in the future such as India-Pakistan games]]

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Umair on May 21, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    You wrote:

    >> Will the games have the atmosphere associated with an international T20? Given the India-Pakistan experiences in Toronto, I don’t see why not.

    Be realistic. NZ vs SL rivalry does not compare with Pak-Ind.

    [[I meant in general - this includes games in the future such as India-Pakistan games]]

  • Max on May 21, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    It is appropriate to apply the period (full-stop) inside the parenthesis when a complete sentence is contained within parenthesis.

  • Vinay on May 21, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    Pipe dreams it is Mr Chopra. American Viewership? rephrase expats who labor whole week long and count every penny they earn. spending money is not what immigrants do. Americans (Caucasians) spend on American sports only. Soccor still have not caught up with American population. It is still restricted to South American immigrants. US Cricket authority ran by West Indians are too busy with their infighting. Indians are too greedy and will pave way to Bribes. Sharad Pawar and company will line up to be the President of US Cricket. so what their own country is suffrring from basic ration inflation due to Agriculture ministers priorities are Cricket and Farm lands being developed in to overly priced apartment complexes for all the NRI's. Most importantly American Media has given a very little support to Soccor and imagine cricket competing for a spot with NFL, NBA, NHL?? None the less US economy can use tourist from Cricket Playing nation. Please come to USA and spend your money.

  • Faisal Akhtar on May 21, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    This is indeed a great day for cricket in the United States. People like myself have been keeping the flame lit for a while now, having a series of this magnitude will no doubt bring a feeling of satisfaction to all the cricketers in the United States. Earlier I met the Treasurer of USACA Mr. John Thickett who told me that a future series between India and Pakistan is very much a possibility. However for the cash strapped USACA that is a bigger bite than they could chew for now.

    The possibility of Sachin, Sehwag, Afridi, Gul fighting it out in the beautiful state of Florida! Now that would be something to behold...

  • neilb on May 21, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    I live in NY, I follow American sports closely, I spend hours with American sports fans, and I love cricket -- IMHO cricket stands less than an ice cube's chance in hell of ever breaking through the American sports barrier. Baseball is a breathtakingly wonderful sport, and so is test cricket, but 20-20's cheap imitation will fool no one.

  • Hitesh Lohani on May 21, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    There are several things you are mistaken on. First the East coast is huge. I live in New York and it will take me 6-7 hours to reach there by car (provided there is no traffic on I-95). That too for an NZ vs. SL game. Though these two teams have played some good contests before, I wouldn't spend so much time effort to travel to Florida. The timing also sucks. High school and college kids (like me) have final exams towards the end of may and early june. Even the most cricket obsessed student (again like me) wouldn't even think of going to watch the game unless living near the fort lauderdale area. This contest should have been held 2 weeks from now and I assure you, people would have flown out to watch the game. Of course, this is an initial series, but for the next time USACA and ICC, take other factors into account. I am happy cricket is coming to my country, the US, but I will never sacrifice my final exams to watch it.

  • Nikhil on May 21, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Never mind, get an Indian team to play here and 20k capacity will seem ridiculously small. And it can be any Indian Team. India A, India B etc etc

  • Sadick on May 21, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Splendid idea to launch the T20 version of the game. Should have advertised on TV to the American Public to go and see Cricket baseball style.We have to target/attract non cricket lovers to be successful.Die hard cricket fans will attend no matter what.Plus will be a great inspiration and opportunity to our youths.

  • Raghu on May 21, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    I hope ICC has planned some fun sessions on Friday/Saturday where the cricketers have some workshops for folks/kids coming to the ground to play & teach them basis of cricket. If not, the game will not get publized at all...

  • Janak Dahal on May 21, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    I am leaving New Orleans to go see the match today!! I am absolutely excited. I am from Nepal but since I have an official NZ jersey, I am gonna support NZ tomorrow. I have never seen a international cricket match before on the ground so I am looking forward to this match. Miami and cricket is going to be the best destination for me to enjoy this summer break. Cricket is awesome and thanks for bringing it to United States of America.