On Wednesday, January 17, the much-discussed Nassau County International Stadium in New York—the site of the T20 World Cup’s main match between India and Pakistan—is scheduled to unveil its plan. Work on the 34,000-seat stadium is anticipated to start shortly, probably later this week, if information coming from the USA is any guide.
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Though it’s a temporary structure, the Long Island stadium is reportedly bigger than any field in England and even bigger than the Wankhede. The ICC now considers it a top priority project. It is envisioned as a modular stadium such to those used at big Formula One and golf tournaments. The New York arena will be equipped with the same seats used in the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
An executive engaged in the project’s construction said, “It is anything but makeshift…it’s probably one of the most modern cricket stadiums in the world with everything you could possibly wish for.”
Three India matches have been scheduled for New York by the ICC in association with local organizers. These matches are scheduled to take place on June 5 against Ireland, June 9 against Pakistan, and June 12 against the USA. The league match scheduled for June 15th vs Canada will take place at the 20,000-seat Lauderhill, Florida stadium. Dallas, the second American hosting city, will not be hosting an India match, though.
It was anticipated that Dallas will receive an India match for hosting Major League Cricket [MLC] matches at Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in July of last year. To promote the game in the area, the Dallas Super Kings, the home team in the Texas city, wanted to host an India match at the arena. The IPL’s Dallas Super Kings, an affiliate of the Chennai Super Kings, are managed by Kasi Viswanathan, who spoke with Cricbuzz about submitting a letter to the ICC regarding an India match in Dallas. “If the ICC wants to promote cricket in the US, they should have allotted an India game to us,” stated Viswanathan.
But it appears that the ICC has its own justifications for rejecting the request. It appeared that holding a game in Dallas would present some organizational and logistical difficulties. Naturally, the time zone difference comes first, followed by capacity. Dallas has a permanent structure, however it can only hold roughly 7,500 people. The organisers had in mind a bigger site for a game against India. Moreover, it seems that there are difficulties with direct flights from the city to the Caribbean, which is the second nation holding the June event.
“We need to balance the unfavorable time zone of this event with more local needs. Dallas is an hour’s drive further from both New York and the Caribbean, making it hard to schedule an India match there, according to an organizing official. “The majority people watch the India games. Why would we restrict the amount of fans who may attend by sending them to the smallest arena in the United States?”
Naturally, Dallas has been granted the honor of hosting the opening match of the World Cup on June 1st, which will include a match between the USA and Canada, longtime rivals and neighbors. Three extra games have been allocated to Dallas. Eight of the games will be held in New York, while four, including one match against India, will be held in Lauderhill, Florida. 16 of the 20-team, 29-day, 48-game tournament’s matches will take place in the US, with the remaining matches taking place in the Caribbean.
“Major League Cricket is thrilled to host the marquee opening match for the biggest-ever ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the premier MLC venue, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in North Texas,” stated Vijay Srinivasan, co-founder of MLC.
“We anticipate that on June 1, when the United States plays Canada in the tournament’s curtain-raiser, cricket enthusiasts from all over the nation will be in attendance. With a history stretching back to 1844, this rivalry in international cricket is the oldest. The match will usher in a new era in this rivalry.
“In addition, we can’t wait to welcome fans from Pakistan, the Netherlands, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to the Lone Star State for a further three matches at Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium where many of the stars of Major League Cricket will be playing for their countries.”