USA moves on plans for Twenty20 league
The dream of a major Twenty20 league being staged in the USA came closer to becoming a reality with the news that the USA Cricket Association (USACA) is looking for partners to help it launch such a tournament.
It has invited proposals from prospective sponsors, broadcasters and game development partners, and it is also hoping to arrange international matches on home soil prior to the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean next year.
The decision to issue a Request for Proposals was aimed at formalising the process and create a level playing field in the process of developing professional cricket in the USA. The closing day for receipt of proposals is August 7.
The move is significant in light of the postponement of the inaugural, privately run American Premier League (APL) after it failed to get official sanction.
The USA Premier League will be run by the USACA, with official recognition from the ICC.
"The commercial potential of cricket in the United States is widely recognised and that was underscored by the number of approaches USACA has received from many significant and prestigious organisations ranging from broadcasters to promoters and sports marketing companies," Nigel Rushman, Commercial Advisor to the USACA, said.
Rushman hopes to replicate the IPL's success in the USA. "We are confident that with the right partners, the USA can host a world class Premier League that will fill grounds and attract massive television and online audiences. That is good news for the future of the sport in the USA and the growth of cricket worldwide," he said.
The USACA are looking at many areas such corporate sponsors, TV rights and merchandising to penetrate the market which includes a large number of expats from the Indian subcontinent and the West Indies.