International Cricket Coming To Florida

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Twenty20 cricket is coming to Florida. Let me just say that again… Twenty20 cricket is coming to Florida.

Given how long it’s taken football (ok… soccer) to establish itself in American culture then I’m a little amazed to learn that Florida actually has an International Cricket Council approved cricket stadium. It’s actually the only one in North America and holds up to 20,000 people.

Next month, from 20th to 23rd May, the Central Broward County Regional Park Cricket Stadium, in Lauderhill, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, will play host to a three match Twenty20 series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka and it’s the launch of a new strategic partnership between USA Cricket and New Zealand Cricket.

The teams will be competing for the Pearls Cup after Pearls Infrastructure, an Indian property development company, was named as the rights sponsor for the matches. The series will be the first international cricket matches to be played by full ICC members in the USA and it’s long overdue.

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, only behind football (sorry…you can’t break old habits). Approximately 15-million cricket fans live in the USA according to Gladstone Dainty, USA Cricket President.

The last time the sport of cricket made significant history in the United States was in 1844, when the Canada v USA match was the first international sporting event between two nations in world history.

The Florida series will follow hot on the heels of the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies – with the final being in Barbados on 16th May.  Sri Lanka made the final of the 2009 event and are expected to perform well again this year. New Zealand were semi-finalists in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and made it through to the Super Eight stage of the 2009 event.  Their current team includes many of the world’s leading players.

Matches are scheduled with the inaugural game set for Thursday night 20th May, and Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd afternoons.Ticket information and pricing will be announced by USA Cricket shortly on its website

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