Indianapolis to host 2015 ICC Americas Division One T20
The new cricket facility at World Sports Park in Indianapolis, Indiana has been designated as the host venue for this year's ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament from May 3 to 10. It will be the first chance to showcase a high profile cricket tournament at the $6 million facility after the city terminated a three-year hosting agreement for the USACA National Championship last May.
While the news is positive for Indianapolis, the decision is another blow to the long-term viability for cricket at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. The $70 million stadium and park facility hosted the previous two ICC Americas Division One T20 tournaments in 2011 and 2013 but a lack of consistent cricket fixtures at the facility has meant that local authorities have sought to rent out the space more to other sports including soccer and American football. According to Broward County Parks and Recreation official Duncan Finch, FC Barcelona has reserved the facility for more than 200 days in 2014 and 2015 for a series of development camps.
The tournament was a six-team single round-robin event in 2011 and a five-team double round-robin affair in 2013, but the 2015 event has been trimmed once again to make it a four-team double round-robin tournament. Canada did not participate in the 2013 tournament, having automatically qualified for the global World T20 Qualifier in the UAE by virtue of a top-six finish at the previous World T20 Qualifier in 2012. However, they must now compete for a spot to make it to the 2015 World T20 Qualifier.
Suriname, Bahamas and Cayman Islands were all relegated from Division One following the previous Americas Division One tournament in 2013, but Suriname went 5-1 in November to win the Division Two tournament in Florida and gain promotion back into Division One. Along with Canada, they'll take on USA and Bermuda, the champion and runner-up of the last Division One tournament in 2013. The top two out of the four competing teams at this tournament will advance to the World T20 Qualifier in Ireland and Scotland beginning in July.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna