USA Cricket pin hopes on successful hosting of MLC to keep T20 World Cup in country

Bengaluru: The USA Cricket (USAC) on Wednesday asserted that the T20 World Cup 2024 will not be taken away from them due to concerns around lack of proper cricketing infrastructure in the nation, saying a successful conduct of the Major League Cricket (MLC) will remove all the doubts.

It has been reported that the International Cricket Council (ICC) might shift the premier tournament, scheduled to be hosted jointly by the USA and the West Indies, to England next year.

However, a USAC official said they have not heard anything from the global governing body about the shifting of venue.

“We haven’t had any discussions with the ICC in this regard. We are putting our best foot forward in preparing necessary infrastructure for the T20 World Cup, which is an year away,” a USA Cricket administrator told PTI. “Concerns about makeshift venues etc are natural because the US does not host cricketing events regularly but we have the Major League Cricket coming up and a successful hosting of the T20 tournament will ward off a lot of concerns,” the official added.

The inaugural Major League Cricket T20 will begin on July 13 and conclude on July 30. There will be six teams in the fray and the matches will be played at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas.

In fact, several leading cricket stars such as England’s Jason Roy, Australia’s Adam Zampa, Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis and Moises Henriques have signed for the MLC T20.

“We are ready for staging the MLC T20, and some frontline cricketers from across the world are participating in the tournament and that will go a long way in establishing our credentials as a big-ticket event host.

“We also have a taste of hosting high-profile cricketing events at Lauderhill (Florida) involving India and West Indies, and now we know what to expect when top teams are competing in terms of infrastructure and other facilities,” the administrator added. In fact, the ICC too played down the possibility of any such move to shift the T20 World Cup venue from the West Indies and the USA.

“There has been no discussion on any ICC forum on shifting the T20 World Cup 2024 from the West Indies and the USA,” an ICC Board member told PTI in response to recent reports.

“It (the tournament) will go ahead and an announcement on the venues will be made shortly,” said the official.

The India cricket team has played a few of its international matches at the Central Broward Park in Lauderhill, Florida against the West Indies.

Oakland, Florida and Los Angeles are some of the cities that have been recced by the ICC Venue inspection team as prospective centres for the event. It is understood that ICC event’s biggest box office fixture — India versus Pakistan — is likely to be held in the USA and not the West Indies, keeping in mind the crowd support for both teams.