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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world's second-most popular sport is preparing to make a splash stateside.

What's happening: The U.S. on Tuesday was named co-host of the 2024 T20 World Cup, a major global event that will take place a year after Major League Cricket — a domestic T20 league — debuts.

The backdrop: As MLC builds out its infrastructure, including a flagship stadium in Dallas, it will do so with the World Cup in mind. The U.S. will host 18 matches in 2024, while co-host West Indies will host 37.

  • Currently, there's just one World Cup-ready venue in the U.S. (Central Broward Park in Florida), with Dallas slated to open in late-2022 as the second. That number will have to grow before 2024.
  • Of note: Minor League Cricket, MLC's little brother, launched this summer, playing 200 matches at a variety of venues across the country.

The big picture: Cricket's 2.5 billion fans worldwide trail only soccer's 4 billion. The U.S. is home to just 30 million of those fans, but that number has more than doubled over the past decade.

  • "The cricket World Cup is one of the most-watched events in the world," Tom Dunmore, MLC's VP of marketing, tells Axios. "This will bring hundreds of millions of eyeballs to cricket in the Americas."
  • While traditional test cricket's five-day format may be a hard sell for an American audience, T20 matches are fast-paced and last just two to three hours. "It's really easy to get hooked on," says Dunmore.

Zoom out ... Consider soccer 30 years ago: FIFA's decision to award the U.S. with the 1994 World Cup was contingent on creating a top-tier domestic league. Two years later, MLS was born, and 25 years after that, the USMNT is ranked 13th in the world.

Looking ahead... The ICC has another goal in mind, too: Bringing cricket back to the Olympics, where it's been absent since 1900. They're aiming for 2028 — in Los Angeles.

Go deeper

Nov 20, 2021 - Sports

Player empowerment is key to the future of U.S. women's pro soccer

The Orlando Pride Starting XI prior to a game between NJ/NY Gotham City FC and Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium on October 9, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images

When the National Women's Soccer League erupted into controversy this season over a slew of assault allegations, the future of the league — and more broadly, U.S. women’s professional soccer — looked uncertain.

Why it matters: The U.S. has had three women's professional soccer leagues in two decades, with the first two each lasting just three seasons. But the NWSL may be on a different path, sports analysts and former players say. That is, if the league and its teams put players' demands and concerns front and center.

Nov 25, 2021 - Sports

Two NWSL teams searching for new head coaches after abuse allegations

Photo: Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Saturday's NWSL title game featured 138 minutes of brilliant soccer between two teams — the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars — who are now searching for new head coaches.

Why it matters: The championship was a microcosm of the NWSL's ninth season, which combined superlative play on the field with institutional failures off of it.

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.