Cricket will make another attempt at building a following in the United States when the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) stages six matches in America next July, the league announced Wednesday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved the US staging of Twenty20 fixtures in the 2016 campaign, CPL chief executive Damien O'Donohoe said, with exact dates and venues to be announced later.
"The ICC has recently established a strategic framework for the future development of cricket in the USA," ICC global development chief Tim Anderson said. "The staging of high level international cricket is a key part of this strategy, therefore we see the approval of several CPL matches in the USA as a positive step forward."
The reigning CPL champions are the Trinbago Knight Riders, the rebranded Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel club now owned by Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan. Other clubs are the Barbados Tridents, Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Lucia Zouks and St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
"Today is a landmark day for the CPL and a massive boost for cricket followers across the USA," O'Donohoe said. "This project has been in discussion for many months and we are grateful to the ICC for supporting this move which enables us to step up our planning and open up opportunities for the cricket-hungry American public."
The hope is not only to develop a cricket audience but talent from the US ranks as well.
"We are committed to developing the next generation of cricketers and we believe that by exposing the best talent from across the Caribbean and the Americas region in the CPL, we can inspire a new generation of cricketers in the USA," O'Donohoe said.