Kiwis looking forward to making history
New Zealand and Sri Lanka will make history tonight when they become the first full ICC members to contest an international series in North America.
The two game Twenty20 series will be played at the 20,000 capacity Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, the only ICC approved cricket facility in North America.
Thursday’s opening game in the series was postponed because the lighting at the venue was not up to the standard required meaning tonight’s game will be the first tome both teams have played since their disappointing exits from the Twenty20 World Cup.
The matches are part of a new partnership between New Zealand Cricket and the USA Cricket Association. With an estimated 15 million cricket fans in the United States the two game series marks the beginning of USA Cricket’s attempts to established a larger fans base in North America.
"We've been waiting a long time for this. This is part of what we've been calling Destination USA," said Don Lockerbie, chief executive of USA Cricket Association.
"We took, with the board's help, a view to try and bring in the best teams in the world and show that the United States is open for business as far as cricket is concerned," he added.
The Kiwis have spent time this week training with the Florida Marlins as part of their efforts to promote cricket in North America with Justin Vaughan, New Zealand Cricket CEO is excited with the role New Zealand will play with USA cricket.
"We have the experience and capacity to help develop the game of cricket in the USA. We are looking at ways of helping USA Cricket grow the game both professionally and at the grassroots," said Vaughan.
"This T20 series is the first of many initiatives between our two cricket boards and we envisage the Black Caps playing in the USA on an annual basis," he added.