Florida to host four CPL matches in 2017

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Four Caribbean Premier League games will be played in the USA this year, as Florida’s Central Broward Regional Park has been approved by the ICC to host the T20 league’s matches. The stadium in Lauderhill, which remains the USA’s only ground to have ODI and T20I certification by the ICC, will host two matches fewer than last year’s tally of six.

The 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League Player Draft took place in Lone Star Restaurant, Barbados on Friday, 10 March. Pictured at the launch of the fifth instalment of the biggest party in sport are CPL dancers and cheerleaders walk in at the start of CPL Players Draft. Lone Star Restaurant, Barbados. (Photo by Randy Brooks/Sportsfile/ CPL Facebook)

CPL officials announced the development after receiving permission from the ICC – who is the approving authority while USACA remains suspended – to host the event in Lauderhill. The 2017 edition of the tournament will be held from August 4 to September 10.

A source at the Central Broward Regional Park has told ESPNcricinfo that the CPL has reserved Saturday, August 5, and Sunday, August 6, to play two double-headers beginning at 10am and 2pm each day. However, after the Thursday and Friday matches in 2016 struggled to break 50% capacity, with 10,000 tickets allowed for each game, there are no matches scheduled for weekdays this time around.

In contrast, the two weekend double-headers that followed on July 30 and 31 were played in front of virtual sellout crowds as an overwhelming number of out of town fans came to Lauderhill, particularly from New York and Toronto. The stadium source also told ESPNcricinfo that only four CPL teams will be coming to Florida this summer, rather than all six as was the case last year. It is as yet unknown which two teams will skip the USA leg.

The time slots for the Saturday and Sunday double-headers have also been pushed forward by two hours – the weekend matches in 2016 began at 12pm and 4pm local time – ostensibly in an effort to better capitalise on TV audiences in the Asian subcontinent where the first game would air at 7.30 pm in India and 7pm in Pakistan. This would be similar to the 10am start that the India-West Indies T20I series in Lauderhill followed.

Earlier, ESPNcricinfo had reported that CPL officials had asked Broward County Parks for two sets of week-long time frames to be blocked off in August for possible use for the tournament. The matches in 2016, played in July, were the first revenue-generating cricket to come to the ground in four years and increased interest in the India-West Indies T20I match in the following month. (ESPNCricinfo)

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