Cricket Comes to USA & Florida

Filed under: Cricket in USA,Sport |

Cricket is coming to the USA and to Florida!

In what’s being hailed as the first officially sanctioned cricket matches in the United States, teams from the West Indies and New Zealand will face each other at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, Lauderhill this weekend.

Darren Sammy, captain of the West Indies team, (pictured above) said:

“It’s always good to be part of history. What will be better for us is if we can win these two games here and create our own history.”

Saturday and Sunday’s games will see the start of the official season tour for the two teams and after the two South Florida games, they’ll go on to complete the series in the Caribbean.

The matches are expected to attract a crowd of 16,000 to the home of the only cricket stadium in the United States certified by the International Cricket Council – Central Broward Regional Park

Organizers have been in negotiations to come to the United States for three years and the intention is for Broward have a spot on the West Indies cricket tour for the next four years.

“Bringing the game here is going to create an economic engine and it’s going to be the stepping stone for future games,” said Albert A. Tucker, vice president of multicultural business development for Broward County.

It’s not the first time professional international cricket has been played in South Florida however, as in 2010, the venue hosted the Pearls Cup, an exhibition game between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Each side won one game each.

Currently the West Indies is in seventh place in the world rankings while New Zealand ranks eighth so the competition will be a close run thing.

“Both teams are evenly matched, it’s a good opportunity for us to see how much progress we’ve made in the last 12 months against a very competitive New Zealand,” said Ottis Gibson, head coach for West Indies. “We’re doing it in neutral territory. The place is new to both of us, and that’s why it’s a good opportunity.”

There’s sure to be a good sized crowd as Greater Fort Lauderdale is home to one of the largest Caribbean communities in the United States with more than 500,000 between Broward and Palm Beach counties alone.

“We have large Caribbean supporters, it would be good to come here and put a smile on their faces,” said Sammy.

Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain, (pictured above) said the absence of formal pre-tour preparation would not be an excuse if his side should under perform in the USA and the Caribbean.

New Zealand have not played since hosting South Africa in February and March and had no camp prior to departure. They will not have any warm-up games before the limited-overs matches either. Taylor said that it wasn’t ideal. “You’ve got to weigh up traveling to rest. There are a few players that have come from England – Guppy [Martin Guptill] and Kane Williamson. I guess the IPL players played not so long ago, and there’s other players who have been in Australia. It’s not ideal preparation, but it is what it is, and we’ll have no excuses.”

Taylor also said that the West Indies might be better prepared for the series, having played against England and Australia recently, and expected them to be a tough unit. “They’re coming in from playing cricket, so I guess they will be better prepared than us. It’s still no excuse for us. We’re a professional team and we need to start off as well as possible.”

We look forward to it… the start of cricket in the United States …may the game grow!

Where to go: Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, 3700 NW 11th Pl., Lauderhill

When:  Saturday Game 1 – Start time 3.00pm     Sunday Game 2 – Start time 2.00pm

Admission: $20-$125

For more information: 954-444-4954 or 954-655-7569 or go to

Click here for some audio interviews:

Richie Richardson – former West Indies player talks about the Florida matches.

Toby Radford – West Indies Assistant Coach looks forward to the West Indies v New Zealand series

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