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

Captains positive despite low scores in Florida

Cricinfo staff
35

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.

  • _csb 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 ;)

  • 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.

  • Deepfreezed 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.

  • HowZatbro 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.

  • Stark62 on May 24, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Damn!!!!

    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.

  • ahweak on May 24, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    I agree with 'inwing'...soccer 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.

  • jeromedascorp 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

  • 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??

  • nafzak 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?

  • 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.

  • _csb 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 ;)

  • 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.

  • Deepfreezed 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.

  • HowZatbro 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.

  • Stark62 on May 24, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Damn!!!!

    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.

  • ahweak on May 24, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    I agree with 'inwing'...soccer 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.

  • jeromedascorp 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

  • 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??

  • nafzak 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?

  • krs1226 on May 24, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    With reference to a couple of comments below: - I don't think the numbers were disappointing at all . I was there on Saturday and the seating area was probably 2/3 full. They say the ground has seats for 5,000 - so I would estimate 3,000 were there - maybe more. The atmosphere was great. - to ditsdad: it may not be the first international cricket but it is the first between two test playing nations.

    What I really liked: - both teams competed hard and it didn't seem like an exhibition game - the ground is really good

    What could be improved: - the public address system was poor and the announcer even worse - they need two score boards.

    Other than that it was a great step forward for cricket in the USA. Please have more!

  • JosRoberts on May 24, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    @bane - I think you'll struggle to find a proffesional cricket team anywhere in the world which doesn't have at least one advert on the players' shirts. Even FC cricket in England (arguably the most staunchly traditionalist environment in the game) has a sponsor's logo across the front of their whites...

  • SunnyD on May 24, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    If they mention in American media that IPL's revenue is second only to NFL in the world, and it might exceed it in future, then it might generate some interest in Americans.

  • on May 24, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    You want to introduce Cricket to America with two NO DISRESPECT shoddy teams? on a messed up wicket? WOW.

    I would not be suprised if all the fans that saw Cricket for the 1st time said "nope, you can take this sport back, BORING". I think they should of had a England v Australia ODI or T20 or even Pakistan v India or have South Africa play one of the following 4 teams. Two reasons i give for this 1) there would of been a REAL cricketing Atmosphere with the travelling fans, English Barmy Army vs The Oz fans would of made it intense and exciting and Pakistan v India speaks for itself. 2) There would of been better cricket players on display who could of actually utilised the wicket better i.e. instead of getting bowled out for 86 like a bunch of doughnuts they might of scraped there way to 140.

  • on May 24, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    I was there for both games, the pitch will have to improve forget about the yanks there are enough expats here to make this a success. Everyone was cheering when they saw action. The last two wickets by malinga were cheered with.."Thats what we are talkinn about..a hattrick Man". BTW the Marlins said why dont you wear gloves when you field, think about how many injuries there are because of this isnt it time to wear gloves when you field.

  • michaelgale on May 24, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    I was there too and for al lthe cynics here is what really happened.

    1. Solid crowd for two smaller nations 2. Very exciting games where the ball won over the bat 3. Great first step and this is the first time tier one countries have played in the US 4. Congratulations to those involved for takling a major first step where non had been made before by previous boards 5. To get India and or Pakistan here we needed to take this small step

  • on May 24, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    How can you introduce cricket to the Americans with New Zealand? Sri Lanka? No disrespect but theres no glitz and Glamour to those two names. England v Australia, Pakistan v India, Australia v South Africa or England v South Africa would of made the game more interesting on two reasons 1) better atmosphere from the travelling crowds and 2) better players

  • Swingit on May 24, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    What doe America want? 1. Football - their invention even if it was a corruption of rugby they like that even better because it took a stupid Brit game and made it American. It their game and it their players who dominate. 2.Basketball - Even if a Canadian invented it he was then in US so they see it as theirs. The most international of the big 4 it is still their game and their players who dominate. Any doubt about the might of basketball in the US follow March Madness. I know what happened at my school (Standford ) whenever we got an invite to the big dance even at a supposedly are more "academic" school. 3. Baseball - well nothing more American than baseball and apple pie right? Wonder why it has declined in popularity lately? Because the biggest starts are now Latin players not Americans. 4. Hockey - Well as popular as it is it is still Canada's game so that will always keep it a distant 4, will move up only if US totally own it! See why Cricket is doomed to fail/ Give it up!

  • Swingit on May 24, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    Get real guys there will never be a place for cricket in the USA. Well not among the top sports anyway. Maybe it can compete with bowling and BMX racing on ESPN2. Look Americans have the sports they like and will always lik, and that is it. The same way NFL will never catch on seriously in Europe then ditto for Cricket in the USA. I mean if SOCCER the real world game has not caught on in the US even if the US has more children soccer leagues than any where else in the world and they have actually stage a world cup there, you really think they will pick up a game they see as so "unamerican?" Americans not only like games they can dominate on a world stage but one that is "seen" as originating from them. That is why the NFL is king in the US both for TV ratings and attendance, bar none. That is why there will only ever be 4 major sport in the USA: Football, Basketball, Baseball and Ice Hockey (well 3.5 given hockey is a distant cousin). Give up the pipe dream.

  • lucyferr on May 24, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    @crushie The Miami Herald reported that there was a near-capacity crowd (but didnt mention what that capacity was) which was very lively and all that. A lot were there for the other match that day, which had the USA facing Jamaica. But then they also said that the match was 'broadcast to an estimated 88 countries and 100 million-plus viewers on ESPN3', which sounds like the sort of dubious numbers regurgitated by a tired reporter from a accurate-but-misleading press release. If they seriously want to have cricket in the USA, they should set up a bunch of T20 clubs/franchises in different cities, following the models of several other minority sports in the USA like roller derby and football.

  • bane on May 24, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Oh God, please dont take cricket to America. Theyll ruin the beautiful game with their big money - imagine advertisements on players shirts.......... Let the americans play what the world doesnt - baseball and other funny game which is rip off of rugby. We already have the IPL ruining the game, we dont need an APL.

  • Mitranand on May 24, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    I was there for both games - and I can tell you that the crowd was fantastic. Who cares how many sixes were hit - every run was cheered by all. There was a real buzz around the ground - many different types of people attended - Sri Lankans, Kiwis, Jamaicans, Guyanese, and even a few Americans. One American sat right behind me and says - he can't wait for more cricket to come to the states. Overall, a big success in my opinion. And thats the biggest six of them all!

  • ditsdad on May 24, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    I find it odd that these matches are referred to as "the first two international cricket matches in the USA" considering that the USA and Canada teams have played each other dating back to 1840s.

    To quote Cricinfo's USA Cricket history, (http://static.cricinfo.com/db/NATIONAL/ICC_MEMBERS/USA/USA_HISTORY.html) -

    "The first annual Canada vs. USA cricket match, played since the 1840s, was attended by 10,000 spectators at Bloomingdale Park in New York. The USA vs.Canada cricket match is the oldest international sporting event in the modern world ...".

  • inswing on May 24, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    The pitch makes no difference because the game is not for Americans. It is for the diaspora who is already interested in cricket, having their roots in cricket-playing countries. Cricket can survive in America because of the strong interest of the substantial number of expats, not because Americans will start to convert. The American sports market is too crowed with several high-dollar leagues with long histories and traditions, and very popular college sports to boot. Even soccer has not been able to make a dent, and cricket has zero chance. If you are talking about small scale or occasional operations to serve the expats, that is fine. American sports like American football has a much more chance to penetrate other countries, than cricket has a chance to penetrate America.

  • on May 24, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Well cricket in America Just might work , but it was a sloppy and disappointing introduction to Americans due to a poor pitch . It is almost like organizing a party and forgetting about food . They should have given more attention to pitch . Specially when u r playing in a country that is hardly interested in cricket . I don't think those two matches impressed any American about the game . Again i repeat they should have concerned about pitch more , what the hell they were thinking ..........

  • popcorn on May 24, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    Twety20 is dead and buried in the USA after these two games.

  • haroonalvi on May 24, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Organize three T20 matches between Pakistan and India on a batting paradaise, and see how cricket becomes popular in the US

  • The.Dark.Knight on May 24, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Wow, wonderful, look what we have here, Cricket in America!!! Damn you all... what u think. This way you'll promote Cricket!!! 120 the highest score in 4 T20 innings. Well done USA cricket with that absolute nonsense wicket...

  • on May 24, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    I'm guessing since the crowd numbers aren't being touted about by CricUSA and/or ICC...they were pretty disappointing. It's about time ICC realized that cricket will never catch on in USA no matter what.

  • andrew.henshaw on May 24, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    A couple of farcial T20 matches that no one will remember in about 2 weeks. No doubt the NZ/SL players were gagged in saying anything negative about the USA experiment.

  • risk_love2 on May 24, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    it ws gd show by d srilankan bt der atting is still hv a que. no1 is getting gd score it ll cause dem

  • Gupta.Ankur on May 24, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    well it seems NZ were back to where they belong in the second game.SL must win the series comfortably.

  • on May 24, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    its good have cricket in US,but not any more fire works in both game is little bit sad for the cricket fans

  • crushie on May 24, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    Any idea what the crowd numbers were for the two games?

  • Deenesh on May 24, 2010, 2:36 GMT

    Canada should be the next target audience. Especially for the South Asain teams.

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  • Deenesh on May 24, 2010, 2:36 GMT

    Canada should be the next target audience. Especially for the South Asain teams.

  • crushie on May 24, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    Any idea what the crowd numbers were for the two games?

  • on May 24, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    its good have cricket in US,but not any more fire works in both game is little bit sad for the cricket fans

  • Gupta.Ankur on May 24, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    well it seems NZ were back to where they belong in the second game.SL must win the series comfortably.

  • risk_love2 on May 24, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    it ws gd show by d srilankan bt der atting is still hv a que. no1 is getting gd score it ll cause dem

  • andrew.henshaw on May 24, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    A couple of farcial T20 matches that no one will remember in about 2 weeks. No doubt the NZ/SL players were gagged in saying anything negative about the USA experiment.

  • on May 24, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    I'm guessing since the crowd numbers aren't being touted about by CricUSA and/or ICC...they were pretty disappointing. It's about time ICC realized that cricket will never catch on in USA no matter what.

  • The.Dark.Knight on May 24, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Wow, wonderful, look what we have here, Cricket in America!!! Damn you all... what u think. This way you'll promote Cricket!!! 120 the highest score in 4 T20 innings. Well done USA cricket with that absolute nonsense wicket...

  • haroonalvi on May 24, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Organize three T20 matches between Pakistan and India on a batting paradaise, and see how cricket becomes popular in the US

  • popcorn on May 24, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    Twety20 is dead and buried in the USA after these two games.