'US and Canada are very important markets': BCCI chief Anurag Thakur bullish about taking cricket overseas

Washington: The sell-out crowd at the recently concluded T20 International matches between India and West Indies in Florida has encouraged the Indian cricket board to consider a long-term plan of tapping the potential cricket market in the United States, said Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur.

"We are coming out with a 5-10 year programme. I will be sending a team to the US soon to look at potential venues where we can have international matches," Thakur said.

Indian cricket supporters cheer their team at the Fort Lauderdale Stadium in Florida. AFP

Indian cricket supporters cheer their team at the Fort Lauderdale Stadium in Florida. AFP

The BJP MP is part of a delegation visiting the American capital to meet with their US counterparts and administration officials. "We are very serious about this (American) market. A large number of cricket fans in the US have been deprived of live matches in the past several years," Thakur said.

Referring to the recently held T20 matches between India and West Indies in Florida, Thakur said the experiment was very successful. "It was decided just three weeks in advance. Anyone who visited the Fort Laurderdale matches could see the atmosphere. It was very lively, thanks to the Indian cricket fans," he added.

"I think, if you could engage more countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England and others, we have a large population in this area, but Indians have to play a very important role. Without India, nothing can happen. It has to be India-centric. And we can take it to the next level," Thakur said, referring to the large Indian diaspora in the US.

"We have to look at the various challenges which we could face in the region. It's not just about matches being played here, but also how you can have sustained development of cricket in this area. The US and Canada are very important markets for us," Thakur said.

Updated Date: Sep 16, 2016 14:07 PM

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