New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 2nd Twenty20, Florida May 23, 2010

Captains positive despite low scores in Florida

Cricinfo staff

It wasn't quite the home-run derby that the Americans had been led to expect, but Daniel Vettori and Kumar Sangakkara hope cricket's Florida experiment will continue. The two-match Twenty20 series in Lauderhill over the weekend was drawn 1-1 but the result was of little consequence.

This series was more about the chance to gain exposure for the sport in the world's third most populous country. But the first two international cricket matches in the USA proved to be dour affairs, with a slow, low pitch and only two sixes hit in each game, and the Sri Lankan captain Sangakkara hoped the nature of the contests didn't turn American fans away.

"That's one of the subtleties of cricket, that a low-scoring game can be exciting if you analyse it properly," Sangakkara said. "The wicket wasn't conducive to big hitting but ideally it should have been a high-scoring two games, 180 to be chased down would have been great out there on a ground like this with fans watching cricket for the first time.

"For the players and the die-hard fans the excitement is the same but probably for an introduction maybe we could have had a lot more scores. The ground facilities are pretty good, there's great seating, the atmosphere is brilliant to play cricket in. You just need to keep playing cricket on tracks like this, the more you play the better the tracks become."

In the first game, New Zealand battled to 120 for 7 from their 20 overs and then dismissed Sri Lanka for 92, while in the second match New Zealand never recovered from losing four wickets in the first three overs. Their final score of 81 was New Zealand's lowest in a Twenty20 match but the captain Vettori said apart from some improvement in the pitch, there were few other problems with the Lauderhill venue.

"Most international grounds probably need those off-field facilities where you can train while the game is going on, it makes it a little bit easier," Vettori said. "There's not too much more. The standard of the wicket could improve a little bit but apart from that I think the ground has everything going for it.

"It's certainly given USA cricket a profile, and I think that's the biggest thing to come from that. Both teams really enjoyed coming here and in the future, when we talk to other players from around the world we'll tell them how good a time we had and how good the facilities are, and you'll get other teams coming along and enjoying it just as much as we did. USA cricket has come along way just from this week."

New Zealand now have a two-month break before they tour Sri Lanka for a tri-series also involving India and Vettori was hopeful of a better performance next season.

"I think all the guys are ready for it. They've been going non-stop for about nine to10 months so everyone's due a break," Vettori told NZPA. "We've got to make sure that we use this break to try and improve as a side and when we go to Sri Lanka we're ready to try and win over there."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chinath on May 25, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    @ Deepfreezed It seems you don't know anything about cricket. SL is one of the most exiting teams in the world. They almost won 2007 world cup and 2009 T20 world cup.Ppl says IND vs PAK is the best teams to play in US; The reality is both IND and PAK sucks. IND never won a T20 super eight since the first edition. PAK lost 10 -15 since AUS tour. These two are the most pathetic teams any one could find these days. PAK is a good team but they are out of form. Most Indian players are just nuts. Except great Tendulkar and Sewag. Others just nothing. AUS came from nowhere to form and played well in T20 worldcup. That doesn't mean that they could perform like this in every game. ENG is the best team. No doubt.But NZ and SL are good enough teams to attrack US. IND and PAK has no chance. SA , AUS END SL and NZ are the only teams that should play in US under current form of each team. I don't know how IND came first in Test. Its a shame.

  • Barathi on May 25, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    All, I have seen americans take interest in Cricket. Some of them don't because they are already full of Football and Golf and what not. But those who like Baseball also seem to take an interest in watching cricket. The problem is, they dont get to play cricket. Cricket is a boring game to watch to be honest. It becomes interesting only if you play it or people you care about take interest in it. The only way Cricket can ever grow in USA is if School kids start playing it. Parents do take interest in kids' interest :) And ofcourse any kid will like the feel of batting ;)

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    @ Deepfreezed: I would certainly like to know which teams you think are better...............Sri lanka is one of the best teams without a doubt as they have proven time and again during the recent past in international tournaments. You seem to be utterly devoid of cricketing knowledge. Sri Lanka has been in the 2007 world cup final as well as the 2009 T20 final and then the semi of the 2010 T20. So From what you say you seem to really hate Sri Lanka, and I am certain that it is because the team you support gets constantly knocked out of big tournaments by Sri Lanka.................So Don't be such a cry baby and grow up.

  • Deep on May 24, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    They needed a better team than Sri Lanka to showcase cricket. Sri Lankan cricketers are hopeless against pace and bounce. Australia should have played in place of pathetic Sri Lankans.

  • Hashaam on May 24, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    I agree with Michael Gale here, the atmosphere was incredible and there was a solid mix of Americans and cricket fans from all the Test nations.

    Congrats to USACA for setting up a very successful event.

  • Stark on May 24, 2010, 19:03 GMT


    I don't know whether to blame the wicket or just poor batting because I did see some players starting to adapt to the conditions.

    Anyway, If you want cricket to be a hit in the usa then why don't you batch up an interesting and intense rivalry like Aus/Eng or Pak/Ind (Or both matches :) on a pitch that is tailor made for batting.

    Personally I think Pak/Ind would be bigger then Aus/Eng because we already know that there are many Indians living in the usa along with some Pakistanis.

  • K on May 24, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    I agree with 'inwing' has not made such a big impact in spite of the u.s. team playing decently in the last two world cups. If people are expecting cricket to become anything like NFL or NBA or MLB, it simply will not happen. There's nothing wrong with organizing international cricket matches in the usa. It will be mainly for the expats and a few americans. A whole generation has to grow up with the sport before it takes hold in any place.

  • Jeremy on May 24, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    Cricket in the US will be the same as american football is in Europe and Asia. The one game each year will only be watched by a stadium full of americans and a few of their local friends who had nothing beter to do on the day. Anyone remember how bad NFL Europe was? Hardly half the stadiums could be filled. Cricket need to be played every year to slowly build some sort of fan base and give the expats a reason to teach their kids the game. I certainly hope Don Lockerbie's plans for stadiums around the nation works out. There are already leagues established in areas around Texas, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and California. If they can bring international cricket to these areas and also figure out how to make broadcast cricket cheaper for cricket fans to watch in the US, I say within 10 yrs at least we could have a league going. There is enough talent in the US to compete with nations like ireland, Zim, netherlands and afghanistan. There just needs to be good coaching and selection

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    It is sooooo TRUE... that Americans only play and love games that no other country is that FOND of! I mean have you heard of baseball Worldcup! That sounds BORING... doesn't it??

  • Mohamed on May 24, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Cricket will be competing for in a market already saturated with so many other sports - A/Football, B/ball, Baseball, etc. Look at who showed up for the matches -the stadium was half full and those who showed up were 99% expats. Yes, Pak /Ind will draw bigger crowd for now, but what happens when the current generation of expats are gone? Do you think that their children who are more interested in B/ball and F/ball would care? Schools are cutting back on sports because of $$ problems and we expect that somehow they will fund an unproven sport. Yes, Cricket will always be "our game" just as Guyana, Ind, Pak, etc., are always going to be "our homes". Our children for the most part however, will call America home and B/ball, F/ball, etc., "their sports". The ICC is shortsighted in trying to sell T/20 as cricket to the Yanks? What message are they sending about Test Cricket to the rest of us? Is Test Cricket dead?Why not support real emerging countries like Ire, Neth, Nepal & Afghan?

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