USA hoping to stage Pakistan India ties

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Cricket is ‘gaining rapid popularity in the US’, claims official

THE United States Cricket Association has revealed it is keen on hosting ties between Pakistan and India.

The Association’s senior Vice-President, Nabeel Ahmad, said the country were keen on hosting the two cricketing giants in either a Twenty20 format or a league similar to India’s hugely popular IPL format.

His comments came after India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor suggested America could be a perfect platform for the two teams to resume their relations on the pitch.

“We are keen to have both the top teams of the sub-continent and we welcome India’s proposal in this regard,” The Dawn quoted Ahmad, as saying.

“It is a very good proposal because everyone related to cricket wants Pakistan and India to resume their cricket as such events are always thrilling and entertaining,” he added.

Hitting back at criticism that the country is not prepared for international cricket, Ahmad said the Florida Sports Stadium would be a perfect venue which had already been approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“To put the record straight we have an 8,000-capacity ICC approved stadium in Florida which can accommodate nearly 25,000 spectators with makeshift arrangements by erecting extra stands at the stadium,” Ahmad said.

“We anticipate hosting India or any other top cricketing nation in the near future to play Twenty20 cricket or a league on the pattern of the Indian Premier League (IPL),” he said.

“Cricket is gaining rapid popularity in the US, especially Twenty20 cricket, and the youth is taking keen interest in it,” he said. “More and more players are joining the game and we see a bright cricket future in the US because [the] market is full of sponsors. We plan to build more international cricket stadiums with the passage of time in other parts of the US.

“We are capable of hosting a full-fledged series. If Abu Dhabi or Dubai can host successive matches, why can’t we?”

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