New Delhi: India will be playing two T20 matches against West Indies in Florida on August 27 and 28. Remember, West Indies are the current T20 champions. India in fact lost in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup against West Indies. It makes us assume that the contest there will be a lot more exciting when you compare it to the ongoing Test series between the two teams.
India are currently leading 1-0 in the 4-match Test series against West Indies. According to media reports, BCCI have given a go ahead as far as the T20 matches are concerned. West Indies will definitely put their best foot forward in those games, knowing their understanding of the shortest format.
India may ride on the confidence from the Test series. They have played some superb cricket and will look to have an edge over their opponents in the shortest format too. One would assume that there would be great crowds for the games. T20 cricket is similar to baseball as far as time is concerned. Also, both India and West Indies have a fair following in Florida and other parts of the US.
What is important is the venue. Is this an effort to make the game more popular with respect to it reaching a wider audience? May be yes and rest assured that it may be the future of cricket. West Indies will make sure that they make the contests exciting by turning up, something not happening in the Test series. We hope for the best.
We will have to wait and see if this is the start of something new as far a trend is concerned. This with respect to having cricket on foreign shores. T20 is the perfect platform for that initiation and it may not be long before shores such as different parts of Europe are explored for the same.
The recent exhibition matches in the US have given us enough proof as far as the popularity of the shortest format is concerned. But one more thing has to be kept in mind. The majority or almost all of the fans of cricket in the US have been expats and this is where the question of local interest arises.
West Indies seems to be the perfect team as far as bridging this gap is concerned. There may not be the same popularity if not for these two teams. August 27 is not far away and we will know soon.