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Cricket in America: History & Present

“I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing that God created on Earth,” the English playwright Harold Pinter once said. However, the American seem to differ today.

With inhabitants coming from England, cricket was once the most popular sport in the US. Things changed soon after as the country started to build its own culture and ethos. Gradually, cricket was forgotten in favour of Baseball, American Football etc. In present Amercia, the most popular sports are basketball, soccer, and rugby. Cricket, which is hugely popular in England and parts of Asia, has a rather small following in the US.

As of today, it's easier to find a locksmith in San Diego rather than find people playing cricket. You also have a better chance of getting mugged in Amercia than finding people playing cricket. Nonetheless, the sports enthusiasts are hopeful of bringing cricket back to America.

History of Cricket in America

Cricket was played by British colonists in North America by the start of the 18th century. A New York newspaper from 1739 contains an advertisement for cricket players. The first documented cricket tournament in the US was organized in 1751 in Manhattan.

Interestingly, the US played the first-ever international cricket match against Canada in 1844

In the US, cricket is played at the amateur, club, college and international competition levels.  However, it does not have much following and it is absent from the international cricket scene.

Only recently, cricket bodies were formed in the country. The US also started playing in world sports tournaments.

A few have started working to make the sports popular in the country.

Jignesh Pandya, a Philadelphia-based real estate developer, is trying to take the sports to American homes. His company Global Sports Ventures has purchased the rights for the 20-over Twenty20 cricket in America from the United States of America Cricket Association.

The US has only one ICC-certified cricket ground, at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida.  Though the world's superpower has only a few sports grounds suitable for cricket, Pandya has found eight states with grounds that can host cricket games. He is looking to develop cricket grounds in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, DC. Most ideal locations for such cricket grounds are near the big cities such as San Diego in California.

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