Sydney: Cricket chiefs hope to stage a Twenty20 World Cup in the United States within a decade as the game ramps up efforts to crack the huge American sports market, a report said Tuesday.
The International Cricket Council`s head of global development Tim Anderson said the world governing body had ambitions to further popularise the sport in a country more used to baseball, basketball and gridiron.
While still alien to many Americans, thousands travelled from the United States to this year`s 50-over one-day World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while a lucrative broadcast deal with the United States is already worth big money to ICC.
"If we continue to make good progress, we would (hope to) see a World Twenty20 in the USA in the next rights cycle," Anderson told the Sydney Daily Telegraph, with the newspaper pointing to 2024 as the likely date.
"We think that`d be a great concept. Other sports have done that, not just football, but rugby are doing that with major events as well so we see that as a medium-term goal."
India are scheduled to hold the next Twenty20 World Cup in 2016 with Australia hosting the event in 2020.
Cricket greats Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar recently took a number of former international stars to the US for a three-match ICC-sanctioned T20 series, attracting large crowds.
Among the throng of big-name retirees playing were Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath and Brad Haddin.
Some of the world`s biggest active players could also be padding up in the United States soon.
"In the shorter term, our full members are keen to play some big cricket in the USA. I think that`d be a fantastic way to take cricket to a new heartland for the game," said Anderson.
"There`s already an ODI-accredited venue in Florida (and another potential site in Indianapolis) but, within the next 12-18 months, you could potentially have full members playing cricket (one-day internationals) in the USA."
To strengthen its bid to establish itself in the American market, the ICC is also looking at trying to enter the country`s college sport programme to boost participation at a grass roots level, the report said.
The ICC`s full members are Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.