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USA’s incredible finish over Bangladesh shows the light for ‘Cricket Revival’ in the States

The game of Cricket was a popular sport in the United States of America till the time of civil war in the 1860s.

New Delhi: The USA has registered a historic win against Bangladesh in the three-match T20I series which ended in a 2-1 win for the Americans. But is it enough to make the game popular in the States? For a country that has grown distant from the sport and found a much faster alternative in the form of baseball, it can turn out to be a tedious task.

Currently, the game of cricket is globally led by India who have a strong on and off-field presence in the game. However, ICC believes that cricket in the USA has an enormous market amongst the 30 million fans. For that to happen, both the upcoming T20 World Cup and the Los Angeles Olympics must go well. For the upcoming T20 WC, three locations, New York, Dallas and Lauderhill have been selected for 16 matches.

Cricket was a popular game in the United States till the time of civil war in the 1860s. However, since then the sport has seen a downward spiral in the country. Legendary West Indian batsman Brian Lara remarks, “(T20) it’s entertaining and that’s what people look for. That’s what Americans look for, you know…” The game is currently limited to just the expat communities in the States.

ICC comes out with quirkier ways for the promotion of cricket

For an average American who is a novice in the game of cricket, it is a difficult task to figure out the game with terminologies like ‘third man’, ‘fine leg’ and ‘mid-wicket‘. However, ICC is taking every step possible to make cricket popular in a country which has walked a long way past the game.

Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt was seen promoting the game ahead of the T20 WC. Simultaneously, the game was also promoted during the recently concluded US Grand Prix held in Miami. For the Americans, cricket brings in a lot of hope for the entire nation given the fact they have the hosting rights.

But, for Venu Pisike, the board of directors of USA Cricket sees the opportunity far greater than the hosting rights. “….With the marketing and promotion activities during the World Cup, there is some momentum…that will attract the community..” Cricket in the United States has received a major boost with the introduction of the Major League Cricket. It now remains to be seen what is the future of cricket in the States.