India will play two T20I matches against West Indies in Florida later this month, BCCI president Anurag Thakur announced on Tuesday, after the board’s working committee meeting in Mumbai. The matches will be played on August 27 and 28 at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill. www.espncricinfo.com reports.
Officials from both boards had meetings in Florida last week to discuss the staging of the matches at the conclusion of India’s ongoing four-Test series in the Caribbean. The ability to obtain US visas was the primary logistical hurdle before the boards but this was cleared after the BCCI submitted documents for its intended T20 squad to the US embassy in Jamaica, where the second Test is currently being played.
In a press release issued by the board, Thakur stated that the series would be developed into an annual event in the USA.
“As part of our continuous efforts to reach out to new markets and audiences, I am very happy to announce that Team India will play two T20Is against the current world champions West Indies in the United States,” Thakur said. “This will be a great opportunity for the cricket fans in America to watch the two champion sides in action. This will be developed into an annual cricketing event in the United States.”
The Central Broward Regional Park is the only ICC-certified ODI standard stadium facility in the USA and recently hosted six Caribbean Premier League matches between July 28 and 31. The ground has previously hosted four T20Is – in 2010, New Zealand played two matches against Sri Lanka, and returned in 2012 for two games against West Indies.
WICB president Dave Cameron said the WICB would also be interested in playing T20s at the Florida venue every year, even if India were not available to do so, to help “develop” cricket in the Americas. “We would like to make it an annual affair from the WICB’s standpoint,” he said. “Is it going to be with India every year? Not necessarily. But from a strategic standpoint, we would like to be playing cricket in the USA on an annual basis.
“I think we’ve set that as part of our strategic goal in helping to develop the USA and the Americas. Our view is that proceeds from these games can go towards development of cricket in the USA and Canada and the Americas in general.”