The 2024 Cricket T20 World Cup breaks records . GETTY IMAGES

The International Cricket Council has announced that the schedule for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the United States and the West Indies was the "most complex to design" with 20 teams and nine venues in North America. Long Island will host the much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan on 9 June.

The competition will feature 20 teams, four more than in 2022, and will be played at nine venues across North America, including one in New York. These are just some of the innovations that the 2024 T20 World Cup will bring to the United States and the West Indies. According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), it has been "the most complicated to design." 

New York will have a 34,000-seat stadium in Nassau County. Long Island will also host the India-Pakistan match on 9 June, one of the most anticipated of the eight scheduled matches. 

It will be a temporary modular stadium with interchangeable pitches, but no artificial lighting. "We are in New York because there are a lot of cricket fans in New York, and we are going to bring some of the most exciting cricket matches, including perhaps the most eagerly anticipated cricket match of all, to this venue," said Chris Tetley, the ICC's Head of Events, at a press conference attended by the media, including AFP.

"So I'm expecting a full house and I'm hoping the atmosphere will be amazing, like at a World Cup," he added. "I hope to capitalise on the momentum that cricket is gaining in the United States, something that can grow the sport exponentially around the world. 

With time zone differences between countries, another aspect that the ICC has had to study and analyse is the scheduling of matches to reach the widest possible audience. "Yes, time of day is a factor we take into account. But what we are talking about is world-class cricket with the best players in the world. They will put on a great show in a world-class venue". 

Some exciting matches have already been lined up, with the West Indies starting their campaign against Papua New Guinea in Guyana, while the USA and Canada open the tournament in Dallas on 1 June. The final will be played in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 29 June. "In my experience, this is the most complicated schedule ever drawn up for a tournament. In terms of the number of matches and teams, it's the biggest T20 World Cup ever," said Tetley.

The T20 World Cup will feature 20 teams in nine venues. GETTY IMAGES
The T20 World Cup will feature 20 teams in nine venues. GETTY IMAGES

Timetables for the morning matches have already been tentatively released by some Indian online media, starting between 14:00 and 16:00 GMT for the convenience of fans in the sub-continent. However, Tetley was quick to point out that the schedules have not yet been finalised. "We have not yet announced the time at which the matches will start". 

The United States hosted its own T20 franchise league, Major League Cricket, last year, with MI New York winning the inaugural title. "I see this (T20 World Cup) as an incredible opportunity to capitalise on the interest that exists in the United States," said Tetley.

The ICC is keen to capitalise on the growing importance of cricket in the United States. GETTY IMAGES
The ICC is keen to capitalise on the growing importance of cricket in the United States. GETTY IMAGES

"What is this thing called cricket that is now being played in my backyard? Major League Cricket has generated some interest in its first season.  The arrival of the Cricket World Cup in New York has been talked about on the morning talk shows, something that would not have happened not so long ago," the official pointed out, acknowledging the importance of opening up the market for the sport in a giant like the United States. 

The New York stadium, which will take centre stage by hosting some of the most important matches, was designed by Populous, the firm behind some of the world's most iconic venues, including the legendary Yankee Stadium in New York and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Florida is the third location in the United States and six of the nine venues are in the Caribbean.