USA Cricket is planning to start a professional T20 competition by 2021 after announcing a RFP for an operating partner on Monday.
“Newly released global research shows there are more than 20 million cricket fans in the United States,” said USA Cricket chairman Paraag Marathe. “A well-run T20 professional league is the platform needed to engage existing fans and grow new ones to support the bullish vision this Board has for cricket in the US.”
USA Cricket is hoping a T20 league will help it secure recognition from the International Cricket Council as an approved national federation. The governing body was created in late 2017 following the expulsion of the USA Cricket Association by the ICC after repeated breaches of membership conditions.
A lack of facilities could be an issue: the only ICC-certified T20/ODI stadium is the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. But USA Cricket hopes a professional league would “support the sustainable development of cricketing infrastructure across the United States”.
The US remains an untapped market for the ICC but there are plans to grow the sport in the country. The West Indies plan to play a minimum of two T20s in North America every year until 2022.