“Houston to host milestone cricket league in November”
KARACHI: Cricket is expanding and reaching out to countries not known for this sport and the United States of America (USA) is one of those countries where the International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken measures for the game’s expansion.
Cricket’s governing body in the USA, the USA cricket association (USACA), is suspended and the ICC is directly overseeing the cricketing affairs. The happening of a few Caribbean Premier League (CPL) matches in Fort Lauderhill is also seen as a ray of hope for the progression of the game in the country.
Moreover, a number of cricket organisers have been striving to keep the game alive with frequent cricket events across the USA. In this connection, one of the avid cricket organisers, Sakhi Muhammad spoke to this correspondent from Houston and shared his vision for the promotion of the sport in the USA. “The USA is a sport loving nation with huge potential to offer opportunity for cricket to grab its market share and build a platform for professional cricket. My personal interest, enjoyment and satisfaction were in building a quality cricket facility and running a professional team. I always found conducting a tournament and running a team as a conflict of interest and less attractive”, said Sakhi Muhammad, who owns a cricket stadium in Houston.
Sakhi Muhammad said he has now had a company of professionals with relevant expertise to stage a ‘memorable’ tournament in November this year. He also negated the impression of having any kind of tussle with other organisers, staging similar events during the same window. “We are not in competition with anybody at all. We want to lead by example and our tournament in November this year will make others better and they might start looking outside the box as well”, said Sakhi Muhammad
The event named ‘2Xcricket tournament’ [read as two-ten-cricket] is scheduled to be held from November 9th to 13th in Pearland, Houston, for which teams’ registration is underway.
Sakhi Muhammad will also field his own team in the event and on a question regarding the possible clash of interest he asserted that the event would be looked after by an absolutely independent and impartial body under the name of ‘2XCricket’ while he would only concentrate on his outfit in the competition.
Sakhi Muhammad, the founder, president and CEO of the Smart choice auto group also touched upon the ICC’s interest in the region and said that ICC’s recent actions brought new hope to the local people in the USA. He asserted that the USA could become a revenue generating market to match the IPL. “The ICC has been actively involved in the US cricket for over a year now, they have done their homework, met with 100s of stakeholders and understand the complexity of cricket dynamics here”, said Sakhi Muhammad
“ICC has brought new hope and if we put sincere efforts, then I feel that the USA was the only place in the world which could generate more revenue than the IPL”, maintained Sakhi Muhammad