USA to host New Zealand v Sri Lanka internationals
New Zealand and Sri Lanka will cross a new frontier when they meet each other in three Twenty20 internationals in the USA in May.
The games will take place at Central Broward Regional Park Cricket Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, which has been approved by the ICC. It is the first time two Full Members will have met in an official match on US soil and it follows the signing of a strategic partnership between the USA Cricket Association (USACA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) last year.
"Given the door to cricket has been opened to investment through the sale of Indian Premier League franchises, this model is a logical step to raising the capital required to take cricket in the US to another level," said Justin Vaughan, NZC's chief executive. "The structure proposed is a wonderful opportunity for someone to get in on the ground floor, particularly given the growing level of interest in the US cricket market."
A delighted Don Lockerbie, CEO of USACA, said the move was the first of what he hoped would be many such initiatives, adding the US national side would participate in some warm-up matches as well.
"We are experiencing increasing demand for 'Destination USA' cricket events from many Full Member ICC countries and the Sri Lanka v New Zealand series will bring - as forecasted - world-class cricket to the USA," he said. "Through the strategic collaboration with NZC we now have the additional administrative support and knowledge base to be able to commercialise these opportunities and ultimately grow the revenue streams from one of the world's largest advertising markets."
Looking ahead, Lockerbie added the matches were "a small indication of the amount of cricket content under consideration with our partners at NZC. We will be meeting with potential investors and event developers over the next few weeks and months to keep building our momentum. The interest is already high from potential investors in India and the US, and this is very encouraging."