June 4, 2024
WRITTEN BY:
Melinda Head

Cricket is Coming on Strong

The Build Up to LA28 Is in Full Force

Described as a hybrid between baseball and chess, cricket is coming on strong in North America – we’re catching up with the rest of the World, at long last.

Globally, there are about 2.8 billion cricket fans, 2nd only to soccer in popularity. Basketball, American football and baseball figures pale in comparison.

The U.S. and the West Indies are co-hosting the 2024 ICC (International Cricket Council) Men’s T20 (a top form of cricket) World Cup throughout June, where 20 international teams (expanded from 16) will take to the pitch. The largest ever World Cup prize fund has just been announced: $11.25 million. And, in 2028, cricket will be on the ticket at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

“I mean, that’s why it’s called the land of opportunities. You know, people come (to the U.S.) from all across the world looking for different opportunities, and we all ended up here playing cricket. We would have never imagined that, but here we are. And that’s what makes this team special too, because we are bringing all these different nationalities, different cultures, and different backgrounds together, into one unit to play in this tournament, and that’s pretty special. (Ali Khan, LA Knight Riders aka LAKR)

The 20 teams competing in this year’s T20 World Cup are divided into 4 groups, each comprised of 5 teams.

Ten teams qualified from the last World Cup (2022), while the other 10 made their way through qualifying tournaments. In Australia in 2022, England won the Men’s T20 World Cup, beating Pakistan.

Each team will earn 2 points for a win, and 1 point for a no result. The top 2 teams from each group will advance to the next stage of the Tournament – called the Super Eight stage. From here, 2 groups of 4 teams will be reduced to 2 top teams, which will proceed to the semi-finals.

We won’t go into nuances such as tie situations and seedings, but enthusiasts can check the detailed rules out here.

The semi-finals will be held on June 27th and the final match on June 29th – all will be played in the West Indies.

In the build up to the semis, 16 of the 55 Tournament matches will be held at 3 U.S. venues:

  • Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, NY
  • Central Broward Park, FL
  • Grand Prairie Stadium, TX

Both the USA and its Canadian neighbors will be making their ICC T20 World Cup debuts.

Search for tickets here.

Learn how to watch matches in North America here.

Indian-born Wicketkeeper Batsman, Monank Patel, age 31, is Captain of the American Squad. He plays for MINY

Pakistan-born Allrounder, Saad Bin Zafar, age 37, is Captain of the Canadian Squad. He plays for Toronto Nationals

Major League Cricket, recently sanctioned by the ICC, was formally established in North America in 2023. Its 6 founding teams include: Los Angeles Knight Riders, MI New York, San Francisco Unicorns, Seattle Orcas, Texas Super Kings and Washington Freedom. MINY won the inaugural MLC season. The 2024 MLC season kicks off on July 5th.

The ICC estimates that there are about 30 million cricket fans in the US and 5 million in Canada to initially support its mission to grow the Sport to mainstream status in a Region considered a sleeping giant.

You might be surprised to learn that cricket was one of America’s first outdoor sports, with matches played in the early 1700s. America’s first “international” cricket tournament was played against Canada in 1844.

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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