Virat Kohli: Never thought we would be playing cricket in any form in the United States

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Virat Kohli during the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Senior Team India batter Virat Kohli has stated that he never thought cricket would be played in any form in the United States of America (USA). Reacting to the fact that USA would be co-hosting the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, the former India captain attributed it to the growing impact of cricket across the globe.

The United States will be making their debut in the 2024 T20 World Cup as co-hosts of the event along with West Indies. The tournament will be held from June 1 to June 29. Significantly, the marquee clash of the event, the India vs Pakistan match, will be held at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on June 9.

Ahead of taking a flight to the US to join his teammates for the World Cup, Kohli had an interaction with the United States Consulate General Mike Hankey in Mumbai. Apart from exchanging pleasantries with the US Consulate General, Kohli also shared his thoughts on cricket gaining popularity in America.

“Honestly, I never thought we would be playing cricket in any form in the States. But now it’s a reality. And that tells you about the growing impact of the sport in the world and the United States is more than willing to accept the change and be probably the first ones on a global scale to accept it, in a way, with the World Cup," Kohli said in a video message.
“I think it’s a great start. It’s the ideal way to begin and it’s going to have a huge impact, and in starting off a kind of a domino effect. I hope it carries on for a long period of time,” the 35-year-old added.

Kohli also pointed out that, with the Major Cricket League (MLC), franchise cricket has already made its presence felt in the US and asserted that things are moving in the right direction.

“We have enough people from our regions to keep the game up and alive in the States and make the others more aware about what it feels like to play and watch cricket. And I think it’s got great potential, with the MLC as well. There is already franchise cricket happening there. So I think, it’s moving in the right direction,” he stated, while concluding his thoughts on cricket in America.

United States will kick off the 2024 T20 World Cup with a match against Canada at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on June 1.

Virat Kohli's record in the T20 World Cup

Kohli has a brilliant record in the Men's T20 World Cup. He is the leading run-getter in the ICC event with 1,141 runs in 25 innings at an average of 81.50 and a strike rate of 131.30, with 14 half-centuries, which includes a best of 89*.

The right-handed batter was the leading run-getter during the 2022 edition held in Australia. In six innings, he smashed 296 runs at an average of 98.67 and a strike rate of 136.41.

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