2024 ICC T20 World Cup: Last week, the ICC announced the US and West Indies would host the next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The news comes after nearly two years of scrambling to find a host nation. When Australia was ruled out from hosting the 2020 event, the tournament was rescheduled for India in 2021.

When those plans also fell through, Australia was once again named the upcoming host for the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. In the meantime, a makeshift tournament was co-hosted by the UAE and Oman, which saw a few groundbreaking moments—from Australia’s first gold finish to New Zealand’s first trip to the Final.

Shortly after, the 2024 World Cup hosts were announced. The ICC’s decision is groundbreaking; not only will it be the fourth Men’s Global Event to take place in the Caribbean, but it will also be a watershed moment for cricket in the US.

According to USA Cricket, the national authority on cricket, there’s been a multi-year plan in the works with Cricket West Indies to make a joint bid for the World Cup. Only active since 2007, the tournament has so far been hosted in South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and, only last month, the UAE and Oman.

Boosting Cricket Popularity in the US

The ICC’s choice to host the 2024 ICC Men’s World Cup in the West Indies is a no-brainer; not only is the group one of the strongest cricket audiences in the world, but the team is top tier. In 2012 and 2016, the West Indies won the global title.

The US is a more surprising choice. Nationally, only about 200,000 people play cricket, with T20 as the most popular format. For comparison’s sake, the NFL has about 190 million fans, according to Front Office Sports. The preference for American football can be seen in a wide range of sports entertainment fields.

For example, odds are offered on all divisions all year round, from the AFC North winner to the Super Bowl champions. The NFL is also hugely popular for fantasy leagues, which extends also to college football. Clearly, cricket has a lot of catching up to do.

However, the ICC’s decision to host the T20 Men’s World Cup in the US will endear many new fans to the sport. After all, the US is incredibly interested in sports; along with cricket, other leagues like the MLS and USA Lacrosse, are growing in popularity.

So far, the ICC hasn’t announced which cities the games will take place in. Based on early announcements, it looks like matches will be hosted across a wide range of venues in the Caribbean and US.

2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Taking a Note from West Indies: 2024 ICC T20 World Cup

Though the US might be looking to build on its cricket fanbase, the West Indies already has a vibrant and passionate number of cricket fans. Though, at the moment, the West Indies is ranked seventh in Tests and ninths in T20Is, the team has historically been one of the strongest in ICC competitions. In fact, at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the team played their 800th international match. 

At the moment, sixteen nations are represented in the West Indies side (which includes the US Virgin Islands). However, it’s possible this number will expand in the future as French and Dutch members join. These include Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, and Martinique (France), and Saba and Sint Eustatius (Netherlands).

Already, many have begun to speculate about which cricket grounds will be selected. Fan favorites from their 2010 hosting include the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, Kensington Oval in Barbados. New locations have been constructed since then, which are likely to be included.

These grounds are the Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica, Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia, and Antigua Recreation Ground in Antigua. The tournament is set to start in June 2024, which will see 20 nations compete in four groups for a total of 55 matches.

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Raushan Kumar
A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

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