Thursday, May 23, 2024

New York’s 34,000-seater Eisenhower Park ready for T20 World Cup action

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Eisenhower Park in New York, the first modular stadium in international cricket, is ready for the T20 World Cup. The 34,000-seater venue, about 25 miles east of New York City, was formally launched on Wednesday by Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man and a World Cup ambassador.

The ICC will conduct test events at the new venue in the days leading up to the World Cup, which begins on June 1 and will be played in the West Indies and the USA. New York will host eight of the 16 matches in the USA with Dallas and Texas hosting four each. The first match at Eisenhower Park, located in Nassau County, will be played on June 3 between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Eisenhower Park will also host a warm-up match on June 1, which ESPNcricinfo has learned will feature Bangladesh and India. During the main tournament, India will play three games in New York including the marquee contest against Pakistan on June 9.

The project at Eisenhower Park, one of the most ambitious ever undertaken by the ICC, involved erecting a fresh stadium in five months on what in January was just normal park land. A significant part of the challenge involved preparing drop-in pitches in Florida and transporting them by land to New York before installing them both in the main square as well as the practice areas.

Ten drop-in pitches were put in place in the main square to go with six others for training a short distance from the ground. The pitches have been prepared by Adelaide Oval Turf Solutions, which is headed by Damian Hough, the head curator at Adelaide Oval. The outfield, meanwhile, was built by LandTek Group, a USA-based turf-making business that has prepared playing surfaces for baseball teams New York Yankees and New York Mets, and soccer (football) club Inter Miami.

“We’ve turned what was park land and an informal cricket ground into what you’ll agree looks like a world-class cricket stadium that you might find anywhere,” Chris Tetley, ICC’s head of events, said in a media interaction on Tuesday.

While the Bangladesh vs India warm-up game will be the first featuring two international teams at Eisenhower Park, Tetley said “community cricket events” would be staged in the last two weeks of May to understand the operational demands and the management of the resources including testing the infrastructure. “There will be proper cricket played there before the first match of the event,” he said.

Tickets still up for grabs for India vs Pakistan

Tetley said that fans could still avail of “limited opportunities” to buy tickets to all eight matches of the T20 World Cup in New York, including the India vs Pakistan match.

“There are still limited opportunities for people to buy tickets to any of the matches,” he said. “A few tickets and hospitality to all games have been made available, and will be made available as we get the odd returns back from allocations that have had to be withheld.

“So much as I’d like it to be a sellout, right now, not quite. So the last few tickets are available for those that get online quickly.”

Tickets can be checked at tickets.t20worldcup.com, the official portal for the tournament

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo

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