Twenty20 news May 14, 2010

Series reshaped after floodlights deemed unfit

Cricinfo staff

The Twenty20 series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Florida - the first international series between two full ICC members to take place in the USA - has been reshaped after the ICC declared that the floodlights at the Broward County Regional Park, the venue, were unfit for hosting international cricket. The schedule will now involve New Zealand taking on Sri Lanka twice over the weekend in addition to two Twenty20 games between USA and Jamaica, who also play a 50-over one-day game on May 21.

"Ideally the inaugural game in the Pearls Cup series would have been a night game on Thursday," New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan said. "The lights at the stadium are fine for most levels of cricket, but they need to be of a higher standard for the playing and broadcast of international cricket.

"And added to this, there is a high probability of rain and thunderstorms in the region on Thursday which added weight to our decision. Because of these factors, we have decided, along with our partner USA Cricket, to focus all of the attention on the weekend with the two double headers as well a full one-day international between USA and Jamaica on Friday the 21st."

The original plan was for a three-match Twenty20 series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, which had been reduced to two back-to-back fixtures on May 21 and 22.

According to Don Lockerbie, the chief executive of USACA, the decision to cancel the opening fixture, scheduled for May 19, was taken in the interests of promoting USA cricket in the best possible light, with a thunderstorm threatening to wash out the opening fixture and damage the image of the sport as it seeks to find its niche in a new and untapped market.

"The original match was scheduled under lights, and we wanted to move it to the afternoon, but that's tough to pull off on an American working week," Lockerbie told Cricinfo. "We feel it's better to start with a big bang on the weekend, because it's about the USA and our strategic partner, New Zealand, trying to figure out what's best to grow cricket in our country."

However, Lockerbie played down suggestions that the decision had been made as a cost-cutting measure, following reports of poor ticket sales and low levels of sponsor interest. "This is really an important weekend for us," said Lockerbie. "We want to show the world we are open for business, and show that these teams have made a wise choice to come and play cricket in the US. But it's got to be done prudently. How many events all over the world get set up and then cancelled at the last minute due to inclement weather while the fans are in the stadium and the broadcasters have to talk through the rain? To us, at this stage of our development, that would be worse than making a smart business decision now."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chinath on May 22, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    fk2000. You got it all wrong mister. If IND play PAK in us it will be a boring match cz both these teems has no spirit in their teams. Loosers. IND never won a T20 super 8 match since first world cup. AUS vs ENG would be exiting. I guess SL vs NZ or NZ SA also would be exiting. But not IND. Indians don't know how to play T20 outside India. IND can play IPL not international T20. PAK is good in T20 though they have a such a stupid team. SL IND PAK will fail in Cricket in next two years. We saw early signs of what is going to happen to subcontinent cricket in world T20. PAK was lucky to be in T20 semis as did SL. Niether SL no IND deserve to be in T20 semis. ENG AUS SA NZ will dominate future cricket. At least for next two years.

  • Barathi on May 21, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    Any reason why they are not hosting this in New Jersy or some place else?

  • Patrick on May 19, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    I thought that they are only playing in the U.S so NZ cricket can improve relationship with the US Cricket board

  • Sanjaya on May 18, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    These matches will be on ESPN. Check the site;

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    would love to see cricket growing in usa...hope this tournament goes well to get it started.

  • LALITH on May 17, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    I hope cricinfo says who will telecast these matches for India and Sri Lanka?

  • hayden on May 17, 2010, 0:05 GMT

    people should stop knocking the fact its new zealand and sri lanka playing and just be thankful 2 test playing nations are playing eachother in the states! new zealand are the ones who took the initiative to form a partnership with the usa cricket, so of coarse their going to be the ones to play in it! sri lanka i suspect is the opposition as the west indies are tied up with south africa. india & australia would charge one hell of an appearance fee for playing in something outside of the FTP and england can bearly fit their own home season inside its summer yet alone go off to the states for a week! sri lanka are still a decent side just at a fraction of the cost and with more time on their hands!

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    LOL--Game cancelled because of the threat of summer thunderstorms in Ft. Lauderdale. Agree, very amateurish of the organizer to cancel at such a late date. I do hope games continue as I too have tickets. Disagree slightly with fk2000. If we ask the average yank if he would be more inclined to buy tickets for a cricket game with India v. England, or NZ v. Sri Lanka, I think he would respond: cricket??? and not think twice about the teams involved. Quite right about no kiwi diaspora down here! But Jamaica has a huge ex-pat population in FtL ; so maybe the Ja's will pack the stadium, tho prices seem a bit steep. Thank goodness they chose 20/20 for the debut; that format is perfect for America (no offense intended). But the main problem is not the weather, or the teams,etc., but the US media. There is a lockout of cricket and rugby in the US.

  • Daniel on May 16, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Jam-USA game isn't a full ODI, just List A.

  • Fahad on May 16, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    This was a ridiculous idea from the beginning. The first international match/series in the US had to have some bigger teams, not SL and NZ (no disrespect to either). Both countries are small enough that their diasporas are not large enough in this country that a cricket stadium would get full by a small percentage going to see this match. This series should have had either India or Pakistan on one side, maybe West Indies, England or Australia on the other. NZ and SL would be good if it was a series, but the two countries alone was a bad idea. Also, if the ICC or USACA or whoever wants cricket to get a market in the US, there is only one answer. Let some meaningful matches be televised in the US on ESPN or ESPN2. Otherwise, you can play all the series you want and the only people who will take any interest will be the ones who already take interest. The ICC would never let this happen because they make too much money selling the rights to air matches to Direct TV and Dish.

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