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Will cricket break fresh ground in untapped US market?

Last updated on: August 26, 2016 14:22 IST

India, West Indies stars look to put on super show in the two Twenty20 matches in Florida, as ICC eyes new market


IMAGE: United States looking forward to India-West Indies T20 international clash. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter.

Cricket will seek to reach out to the untapped American market when India lock horns with T20 Champions West Indies, in the first ever international match in the United States of America on Saturday.

Kumble impressed by cricketing facilities in Florida

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The two Twenty20 Internationals, to be played over the weekend, will be the first instance of India being involved in a competitive match in the USA.

Days after India cruised to victory in the four-match Test series for their third successive triumph on the Caribbean soil, the team's seasoned campaigner Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to lead the side in the two limited overs games at the Central Broward Regional Park, Florida, the only purpose-built cricket stadium in the United States.

It is the only International Cricket Council (ICC)-certified, ODI-standard stadium facility in the USA and hosted six Caribbean Premier League matches last month.

The 14-member Indian team will see the return of as many as 11 regular players who were rested from the tour to Zimbabwe in May, earlier this year.

Dhoni, who retired from the longest format of the game in December 2014, is scheduled to play just seven more matches in 2016 -- two T20Is against the West Indies in USA and five ODIs against New Zealand in India.

Dhoni's last assignment was against Zimbabwe, where he led a young Indian team to victory in both the ODIs and T20I series in Harare in June.

The two-match series is going to be the first of what will develop into an annual event in the USA, as part of efforts to reach out to new markets and audiences.

Even though India won the Test series 2-0, players from the Test squad are coming with hardly any recent match practice because of the rain-affected fourth Test in Port-of-Spain where the last four days didn't see any play.

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