Sub-standard lights force change in first US event
Fort Lauderdale: Sri Lanka and New Zealand will play only two Twenty20 matches next week in the first full internationals to take place in the United States because of sub-standard floodlights at the venue.
The International Cricket Council ruled that Broward County Regional Park lights were not bright enough to stage a planned Thursday night match, but Sri Lanka will play New Zealand on Saturday and Sunday as scheduled in day matches.
The decision shrinks the Pearls Cup event to two matches and moves the historic first full international meeting on US soil to next Saturday. Jamaica and the United States will stage a T20 match each day as well.
"Ideally the inaugural game in the Pearls Cup series would have been a night game on Thursday," New Zealand cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said.
"The lights at the stadium are fine for most levels of cricket but they need to be of a higher standard for the playing and broadcast of international cricket.”
"And there`s a high probability of rain and thunderstorms in the region on Thursday, which added weight to our decision."
The event is aimed at boosting the profile of cricket in the United States, where struggles to gain attention have seen a failed attempt at a T20 league and an ill-fated pitch to host a World Cup match when the event was in the West Indies in 2007.
"The Black Caps are tremendously excited about the opportunity of launching international cricket in the United States," Vaughan said.
"The Pearls Cup series promises to be a great spectacle."