Baseball crazy USA has cricket fans | Sunday Observer

Baseball crazy USA has cricket fans

1 November, 2020

Cricket already has enough fans in the USA to make it a leading sport in the country, according to USA Cricket chief executive Iain Higgins.

USA Cricket became an associate member of the International Cricket Council in 2019, and recently launched a 10-year plan to become a full member by 2030.

To achieve that target, they must meet certain criteria at international and domestic level, including beating a full member at a major tournament. Higgins says cricket in the US is on an “upward trajectory” and estimates the sport has between 10 and 20 million “extremely passionate” fans in the country.

“The cricket fans in this country stack up pretty well against soccer and other sports,” Higgins told BBC World Service’s Stumped programme. “But there is a disconnect between the number of passionate cricket fans and the amount of cricket content that there is to consume in this country.

“Our job is to help plug that disconnect and if we can create that fantastic national product and put our teams alongside the full members in terms of their on-field competitiveness, then we can start to tap into that 10 to 20m people and really start to make it mainstream in this country.”

Any plan as ambitious as USA Cricket’s has barriers to overcome, with Higgins citing the lack of a nationwide schools programme as a key one.

“That’s a real barrier for us growing talent which will allow us to perform on the field and achieve some of the performance target and metrics to become a full member,” said Higgins.