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ICC unveils 34,000-capacity modular stadium in New York


WEB DESK: The International Cricket Council (ICC) unveiled a 34,000-seat modular stadium in New York on Wednesday to stage eight matches of this year’s T20 World Cup and the sport’s governing body hopes the facility will help it crack the lucrative sports market in the United States.

The Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York has been awarded the blockbuster June 9 match between India and Pakistan, the tournament’s most anticipated contest, underlining the ICC’s keenness to break into a new market.

Sustainability would be a key feature of the “cutting-edge” facility, ICC’s Head of Events Chris Tetley said during an online interaction with select media.

The World Cup venue would repurpose the grandstands used for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas, and have drop-in pitches.

Once completed, he said, it would be bigger than any cricket venue in England and even bigger than the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which hosted the final of the 50-overs World Cup in 2011.

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“I think we need to do something on this scale to make an impact in a country like the US, with the sports market it’s got,” Tetley said.

“It’s a clearly defined target market for ICC. As we all know, it’s the largest sports market in the world.

“It’s already our third biggest broadcast market, and we’ve identified at least 30 million cricket fans in the US.”

The US is co-hosting the tournament with West Indies and Tetley promised a memorable experience for the American fans.

While much of the venue, including the pitches, would be taken away once the World Cup was over, the “world class facility” would remain for the local community to use, Tetley said.

With much of the infrastructure rented and not bought, Tetley shot down cost concerns.

“Safe to say that it more than pays for itself, and so it’s a viable project for us to be run without it costing ICC anything.”

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