Australia coach Darren Lehmann has joined the ever growing push to explore the potentially lucrative United States of America as an area for expanding the game of cricket and also said the country would be an ideal place to stage a World Twenty 20 event.
This season, 10 Big Bash League matches will be broadcast live in USA and Canada through a channel which means that cricket will invade almost 85 million houses. In July and August too, this year Florida hosted the final few matches of the Caribbean Premier League as well as two T20 internationals involving India and West Indies.
And Lehmann says for the growth of cricket these explorations need to continue.
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"The Twenty20 circuit could include a stop in the United States, a country that could also be targeted for hosting a World Twenty20, which would be the best way, at least in my opinion, of breaking the game there," Lehmann was quoted by the Cricket Australia website.
"Cricket can undoubtedly be a success in the US thanks to the already significant supporter base that exists there among its large Asian community. And a global event has the potential to capture the attention of those not necessarily interested in the sport already.”
Lehmann cited the example of football and how after a World Cup n 1994 in the US the game has been benefitted.
"Soccer took the World Cup to the USA in 1994 and the benefits of doing that can now be seen, two decades on, with the growth of Major League Soccer, while rugby union has also grasped the nettle by awarding its 2019 World Cup to Japan, a country it sees as its next big market."
CA also believe US is a place which can be tapped in and has therefore already has renewed all rights with their longstanding partner Willow for the next five years starting this season, which will include men’s Tests, ODIs and T20s, women's international matches and both the BBL and the Women's Big Bash League.
In Canada too, CA have signed a deal with new partner Asian Television Network (ATN) for the next five years, as exclusive rights holder of all men’s and women’s international matches, including the BBL and WBBL.
Even Board of Control for Cricket in India president Anurag Thakur, a few months back had said they were keen too in spreading the game in the United States.