Sri Lanka Embassy in USA will host dinner during series to raise funds for an international class cricket stadium in Northern Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Cricket team is one of the world's best.

Sri Lanka’s famed national cricket team will play a series of matches against New Zealand’s national team in a historic meeting in South Florida, USA, in May.

The three game series, the first to be played by full International Cricket Council (ICC) members in America, will be played at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida starting with a day/night game on Thursday May 20th 2010.

The two teams will then go head to head during two afternoon games on Saturday, May 22nd and Sunday May 23rd at the 20,000 capacity stadium, the only ICC approved cricket facility in North America.

 “I cannot say strongly enough how pleased and excited I am that USA Cricket will host matches between the Sri Lankan National Cricket Team and New Zealand's National Team,” said Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United States. “This historic event features two of the world's finest cricket teams playing in a one-day International Cricket Council-approved match on U.S. soil for the first time ever.”

Indian property development company, Pearls Infrastructure, is the naming rights sponsor for the matches and the teams will be competing for the Pearls Cup.

Central Broward Regional Park Stadium is the only international class cricket grounds in the USA.

The matches will take place following the World Twent20 matches in the West Indies.

As part of the cricket event weekend, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington is facilitating a fund-raising dinner on May 22 in Fort Lauderdale.

The dinner will feature the national team and will raise money to build the first-ever world class cricket stadium in Northern Sri Lanka. Details for the dinner will be announced shortly.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya said the dinner and weekend of cricket matches will allow Sri Lankans to enjoy their national team’s play while contributing to the re-development of Sri Lanka.

"Sri Lankans are famous for making history,” he said, “and I am proud to be serving as ambassador to the United States when this historic event takes place. I want to invite all cricket fans to come and see these matches and to take part in the fund-raising dinner to help Sri Lanka."

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, only behind soccer. There are an estimated 15 million cricket fans living in the USA.

 “The historic event will provide great exposure for cricket with some of the world’s top players will be on show here,” said Gladstone Dainty, USA Cricket President. “USA Cricket has worked hard to bring this event about and we are very excited about the potential impact of this series for the growth and development of cricket in the United States.”

USA Cricket CEO, Donald Lockerbie said the three match series has been in the works for some time as part of the new “Destination USA” initiative.

“We believe that in order to grow the game of cricket in the USA - we need to have the best teams in the world play in our country,” said Lockerbie.  “We want to demonstrate to the American public just how exciting the T20 format is.  Cricket is already popular here but has lacked major media coverage.”

Lockerbie said that the last time cricket made significant history in the U.S. was in 1844, when a Canada-U.S.A. match was the first international sporting event between two nations in world history.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

23 April 2010


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