August 11, 2017
The United States could co-host the Women’s World Twenty20 next November, bringing an ICC global event to America for the first time. Prospects of matches being held at the Lauderhill ground, in Florida, are “well over 50%,” according to Fara Gorsi, the ICC Americas development manager. Johnny Grave, the chief executive of Cricket Windies (CWI), who are the designated hosts of the tournament, is also keen to explore the prospect.
“It’s something that we’re looking to do for sure,” said Gorsi. “In the Americas there’s a lack of women’s cricket – we have the USA team but we need to develop cricket, so having women’s cricket (event) featuring here as co-hosts would be massive kudos for ICC Americas and also for cricket in general for women.”
The support of ICC Americas is particularly crucial. USACA, the former governing body for the sport in the US, was expelled from the ICC in June, leaving the ICC effectively as temporary custodians of American cricket. Until a new American governing body is elected, the ICC must sanction all official matches staged in the country.
The ground at Lauderhill, which has hosted Caribbean Premier League matches in the last two years as well as men’s internationals including India against the West Indies in 2016, is internationally accredited and, as such, would have adequate facilities to stage the World T20 matches.
“Obstacles? At this point in time I couldn’t see any,” said Gorsi. “As we’ve hosted the CPL and T20Is here, it’s not that the venue would be a problem. It’s logistically how the host countries work together to make this possible. As the ICC Americas development manager it’d be something that I would be very keen to get involved to make sure it does happen.”
Grave, who attended CPL matches in Lauderhill last weekend, would also need to agree to the US hosing WT20 matches.
“It’s the first time I’ve been here and why not? It’s not too far off the Caribbean Sea,” he said, speaking in Florida. “It could be the perfect timing for a new association in the USA to really kick-start cricket in the USA so I wouldn’t want to rule it out. It’s not been officially spoken about at the high end but I’d certainly be very open-minded in exploring it.”
The West Indies intend for the World T20 to be hosted across three different nations, and expect to be receiving bids from territories to stage matches from late September.
“I would like to think it was a well over 50% chance of us hosting it here,” Gorsi said. “But this is being ambitious and what I’d like to see.” She added that “four to six matches, possibly more,” of the 23-game event could be staged in Lauderhill.
The ICC has long believed that the women’s game offers the best chance of the US reaching a world event. The US women’s team are currently in Scotland, playing in the regional World T20 qualifiers.
“We have to get women’s cricket over in the Americas at the level it’s being played in other regions at the moment,” said Gorsi. “We need to utilise the stage of women’s cricket, from what the girls did at Lord’s, over in the US so the whole of the Americas can see that it is possible, and we can have a women’s team grow and more girls getting involved in women’s cricket at a local level as well.”