As preparations for the upcoming 2024 Twenty20 World Cup gather momentum, a heartfelt appeal from New York City legislator Jenifer Rajkumar has drawn attention to the city’s suitability as a host for the prestigious cricket event. In a formal communication addressed to Greg Barclay, Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Rajkumar extended an invitation to consider New York as a prime location for the matches.
Rajkumar, an Assemblywoman representing New York, highlighted the city’s diverse and cricket-passionate population as a compelling reason to host the World Cup matches. “Our City is home to the largest South Asian community in the Western Hemisphere, along with significant West Indian, British, Australian, New Zealander, Emirati, and African Diaspora communities,” she stated. The legislator emphasized that the prospect of witnessing top cricketers live in action would be a dream come true for these communities.
The ICC had recently undertaken an assessment of potential venues for the 2024 Twenty20 World Cup matches in the United States. New York has emerged as a strong contender, with its extensive cricket infrastructure and historical significance in the sport. The city boasts around 100 cricket clubs, 59 cricket grounds, and several cricket leagues. Notably, the Staten Island Cricket Club, founded in 1872, stands as the oldest continuous cricket club in America.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has expressed support for hosting the matches, aligning with Rajkumar’s advocacy. However, reports suggest that logistical challenges may arise in terms of preparing suitable grounds for the championship. One potential location under consideration is Van Cortlandt Park, a sprawling 1,146-acre park. The timeline for construction, particularly if focused on Van Cortlandt Park, could impact the feasibility of hosting the matches, given the proposed January 2024 start for Albany’s legislative session.
Jenifer Rajkumar’s appeal not only reflects the city’s eagerness to embrace international cricket but also highlights its cricketing history. She pointed out that New York hosted the world’s first international cricket match in 1844 and the first documented cricket match in North America in 1751. The city’s enduring connection to cricket, underscored by milestones like Major League Cricket’s (MLC) success, makes it a deserving contender to host the World Cup.
In her impassioned letter, Rajkumar expressed, “Selection of New York City would also commemorate our deep history of cricket.” She suggested that hosting the World Cup in the city 180 years after the first international cricket match would bring the sport’s history full circle. Furthermore, the inclusion of the New York club, a subsidiary of the iconic Mumbai Indians, in MLC adds to the city’s cricket legacy.
As the ICC contemplates the host city for the 2024 Twenty20 World Cup matches, New York City stands as a vibrant and culturally rich contender, ready to welcome cricket enthusiasts from around the world to celebrate the sport’s global appeal.