Schedule for 2024 T20 World Cup ‘most complicated ever’, says ICC

Rohit Sharma in action for India. File photo

The International Cricket Council on Wednesday said the schedule for this year’s T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies had been “the most complicated ever to draft”.

The tournament will feature a record 20 teams, up from 16 in the 2022 edition, and be staged at nine venues across North America, including New York, which will have a 34 000-seater stadium in Nassau County.

The Long Island ground was unveiled Wednesday by the ICC and is due to host the hotly-anticipated India-Pakistan clash on June 9 among its eight scheduled World Cup games.

It will be a temporary modular stadium with drop-in pitches but will not be equipped with floodlights.

“We are in New York because there is a hotbed of cricket fans in New York and we are bringing some of the most eagerly anticipated cricket matches including possibly the most eagerly anticipated cricket match of all to that venue,” Chris Tetley, the ICC’s Head of Events, told reporters in an online media roundtable.

“So I expect the venue to be full and I expect the atmosphere to be World Cup amazing.

“Yes, the time of the day is a factor that we take into account. But what we are talking about is world-class cricket with the best players in the world and they are going to put on a great show at a world class venue.”

The USA face neighbours Canada in the opening game on June 1 in Dallas, while the West Indies begin their campaign against Papua New Guinea in Guyana. The final takes place in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 29.

“For this tournament in my experience, has been the most complicated match schedule ever to draft… the number of matches and the number of teams which is the largest ever T20 World Cup,” said Tetley.

Cricket in breakfast chat shows 

Indian websites have put up the timings of the matches starting between 1400 and 1600 GMT to suit the sub-continent fans, but Tetley said they are yet to finalise the fixtures.

“We haven’t released the start time of the matches yet,” he said.

The United States hosted its own T20 franchise league, Major League Cricket, last year with MI New York winning the inaugural title.

“I look at it (T20 World Cup) as an amazing opportunity to harness the interest that exists within the US,” said Tetley.

“What is this thing called cricket that’s now being played in my backyard? Major League Cricket got a bit of interest in its first season. World Cup cricket coming to New York has been featured in breakfast chat shows that would never have happened not so long ago.”

The New York stadium has been designed by Populous, a company that has designed some of the world’s most iconic venues, including Yankee Stadium in New York and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

Of the nine venues, six are in the Caribbean. Florida is the third US base.

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