May 30, 2024 - Sports

Cricket's T20 World Cup is almost here

Two men standing on a cricket ground in their navy uniforms

USA's Ali Khan and Monank Patel will compete in the ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup's first match this weekend at Grand Prairie Stadium. Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

One of the largest tournaments for one of the world's biggest sports will go to bat this weekend in Grand Prairie.

Why it matters: This is the first time the Men's T20 World Cup is coming to the U.S., and Grand Prairie Stadium will host the first match.

  • The International Cricket Council is hosting matches here because "Texas is iconically U.S.," T20 USA CEO Brett Jones tells Axios.

The big picture: This is a milestone for the U.S. — the bid for host country took decades of lobbying and professionalizing cricket. The West Indies, in the Caribbean, is a co-host.

  • Global viewership is expected to be in the billions on digital, social and broadcast platforms for the tournament, Jones says.

Driving the news: The tournament begins Saturday in Grand Prairie, with the U.S. playing Canada.

  • Major League Cricket got its start at Grand Prairie Stadium last year, and there's already a loyal fan base in North Texas.

How it works: T20 is a condensed format of cricket, taking only a few hours instead of a full day or multiple days. If you enjoy baseball, you might like cricket.

  • Twenty countries are competing, including the U.S. and Canada.
  • There will be 40 matches to decide the Super Eight countries, which will be whittled down to the final two World Cup contenders.

Zoom in: Grand Prairie is hosting the tournament's first match and three other matches. Investors converted the city's dormant minor league baseball stadium into a cricket stadium last year, hoping to make the sport more mainstream in the U.S.

  • Cricket legends will likely touch down in North Texas to attend matches and meet fans.
  • There are also international media rights deals, sponsorships and thousands of fans traveling to see the matches.

By the numbers: Close to 1,000 accredited people, including squads, coaches, stadium staff and media, are expected to be at every game.

  • There's capacity for roughly 7,000 to 8,000 spectators at Grand Prairie Stadium.

How to watch: Tickets for the four Grand Prairie matches, start around $125. The ICC says it will put more tickets on sale as space becomes available.

  • The matches will be broadcast on WillowTV in the U.S. and Canada.
  • EpicCentral in Grand Prairie will host watch parties throughout the tournament.
  • Sheesh, a hookah lounge in The Colony, is also planning a watch party for the Pakistan vs. India game on June 9 in New York.

Plus: The ICC is hosting a World Cup kickoff party Friday evening at EpicCentral. There will be a DJ, vendors and cricket equipment to try out.

Zoom out: The most anticipated match, Pakistan vs. India, will take place in New York. Hundreds of millions of fans are expected to tune in.

Worthy of your time: AP has this guide to cricket.

The bottom line: "We want this to be a real opportunity to celebrate the cricket fans that are in the U.S. now, but also grab ahold of some new fans and share what we think is a great game," Jones says.

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