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Cricket For USA Or Cricket In USA? – Choice Is Yours After T20 World Cup 2024

Cricket In United States.

If you have just clicked the article only to get a result on the very first line, let me tell you, that the decision of hosting the group stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 has proved to be close to a disaster in the United States of America (USA). The cricket has grown in the country, without a single drop of doubt, but the game’s future in that place is under dark clouds.

Well, the International Cricket Council tried its best, or portraited the whole process in a way that they are trying their level best to make it possible, but the action, with all the resources and being shouldered in one specific country hasn’t helped them in the ultimate result of the risk.

At the end, it was the United States cricket team, who did their best, with the skills and abilities on the game, despite the low chances, and the barest of opportunities they have been getting in the game.

Why to give comfort to India if the aim was to grow cricket in the United States?

It was just a couple of days ago, while I was returning back from my usual evening stroll. In between my journey, I was having a chat with one of my friends, who is a huge fan of the ‘Baseball’ game. Exciting nah? It’s actually. And from him, I came to know about the structure and periphery of the sport in that country. It’s huge, and I haven’t have sufficient words to express it.

But he told me how people were questioning the brand of cricket the United States were playing going into the T20 World Cup 2024. Yes, they did beat Bangladesh by 2-1 margin, and they did reasonably well in winning against Canada, with whom they share the oldest rivalry the game has even produced.

Love of Cricket In USA.
Love of Cricket In USA. Image Credit: Cameron Ponsonby/X

And they also held their nerve in the game against Pakistan in Dallas, but the center of our conversation was how good the United States have been in the other sports outside cricket, an area where they are expected to make better progress in the upcoming years.

Having said that, they are already one of the best in the baseball game, or when it comes to the rugby, or may be football, and you keep on making notes of the other sports. Where are India in these games? Yeah, Football is the one where they have been doing well in the recent times, but then what next? Don’t come with the Olympic games to make an argument.

The idea of the whole world cup by the ICC and their management and the authorities was to promote the game in the country, and that was one of the reasons why they decided to schedule the India-Pakistan game, what they believe and it actually is the blockbuster event of any ICC tournaments in recent years, more so because of how the Pakistan teams have been making developments in their game in the near past.

So, the idea was there, but was the lack of urgency and proper planning to make that happen. I can’t help believe that they arranged that India-Pakistan game on Sunday at 11 in the morning in a country, which hardly knows the rivalry of these two sides in that particular sports.

The Complexity of Cricket- Alone in the middle Or Surrounded by the Team

I didn’t also understand why most of the games happened in the day time. T20s were always suppose to be played under lights, and that was what would increase the enthusiasm and excitement behind it. The colorful lightning stumps, or the firecrackers, or the kids coming into the ground for a refreshment with their dad or uncle after a long day in the school- these were the ingredients of the format.

The Nassau County International Stadium, where the India-Pakistan contest took place was around an hour and half away from the middle of the city, New York. So, to make the ground in time, the people of the US, having no clue of the excitement was needed to wake up at 5 on a Sunday morning, and push themselves to the ground. Do you really expect that’s the way the game would be promoted?

The lack of infrastructure and planning of scheduling

All the India games that would take place in this World Cup would be a morning affair, till the final, both in the United States and Caribbean, and there is no reason or understanding of this. The Indians and the Asian countries are already made about the game. So, for them, it won’t be an issue to get up early in the morning, and stay late in the night to enjoy cricket. Afterall, they put their eyes opened till 3 in the morning for a mere IPL final. Didn’t they?

Then comes the infrastructure. The Centra Broward Park wasn’t ready at all for hosting a World Cup, to be fair. I understand, there was that flood, and so much water logging in the ground. It was given that the USA and Ireland game would have been abandoned anyway. But how can the India-Canada game could get washed out?

Lack of Infrastructure In United States Grounds.
Lack of Infrastructure In United States Grounds. Image- Katey Martin/X

There were paddles of water in the field, even after the city receiving no rain in the last 24-hours. The surface was covered, but it wasn’t the case for the outfield. That just can’t happen. I remember how an Indian ground had a silly mistake of water going through the covers, for which their game against South Africa was called off, while in the West Indies in 2019, there was a moment when the grounds men forgot to dry up one spot, and under bright sunshine, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle was needed to show their dancing skills.

That’s ridiculous. The ICC needs to take care of these grounds properly in the United States, and if they genuinely want to promote the game, then they should hustle too. It’s one thing about advertising, and the other about promoting.

The United States did a great job with the bat and ball, as they have not only progressed to the super eight spot of the competition, but also will come to India for the tenth edition of the T20 World Cup. But so now, it’s cricket for USA, rather than cricket in USA.

That Mad Writer
Author: That Mad Writer

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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