What started as an idea in 2000 has now transformed into reality in 2010. A cricket stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, will host for the first time, the international matches, according to Nabeel Ahmed, the first vice president of the USA Cricket Association (USACA).
Speaking exclusively to this scribe over his mobile from USA, he said, Sri Lanka and New Zealand teams will play here three Twenty20 matches in May. Both boards - Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) - have agreed to send their teams immediately after the ICC Twenty20 final (in Barbados on May 16).
The weather condition in Florida is same as in West Indies and two teams playing here will not find any problem as Florida is only one and half hour flying away from West Indies, he said.
We were very keen to host few warm up matches for the teams before the ICC World Twenty20 in West Indies but it didnt materialise.
IS Bindra (the ICC principal advisor) visited the stadium in Ft Lauderdale the other day and was very happy to see the facilities. We are feeling something big as far as cricket is concerned which is about to play in US to shock the world, Nabeel Ahmed said.
The crown jewel of the 110-acre park at the intersection of State Road 7 and Sunrise Boulevard is the 7,000 seat multi-purpose stadium, which can be expanded to 25,000 if needed. Billed as the first international cricket venue in USA with flood lights, the main pitch and the outfield are now completed to comply with international standards and the adjoining practice pitches are ready. It certainly looks like it may not be long before this new park hosts more international cricket matches in future also.