USA vows to play 'fearless cricket' in World Cup debut


The United States make their T20 World Cup debut against Canada on Saturday and vice-captain Aaron Jones says he is determined to play “fearless” cricket.

USA vows to play 'fearless cricket' in World Cup debut

Both teams are making their first appearance in the expanded 20-team competition, but particular pressure is on the United States, as co-hosts of the tournament, along with the West Indies, to put in a strong performance on home soil .

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The short, explosive format of the game is seen by cricket executives as the perfect version to capture the imagination of America's big sports fans and Jones says the team doesn't want to be afraid to go on the attack.

“Fearless cricket, positive cricket, smart cricket. I think that's what we're really trying to do,” Jones told a press conference.

“We don't want to regret anything. We want to leave everything on the field. And then, obviously, if we come out on top, that's great. If we don't come out on top, that's how cricket is done.” Sometimes. But we don’t want to regret anything,” he added.

The two North American teams have been drawn in a tough group, but India and Pakistan are the clear favorites to be the two teams to qualify for the Super Eight stage.

Ireland, who in many ways are a role model for the United States and Canada, having emerged from relative cricketing obscurity to be regulars at major tournaments, will look to spring a surprise and sneak into both first in group A.

But whatever the results, it's a historic moment for Team USA to find itself in elite competition after decades of being stuck in minor tournaments.

“Over the last few years, we've talked about going to World Cups, getting Test status and taking American cricket to greater heights,” Jones said.

“And obviously we're playing a World Cup starting tomorrow. So that's probably the highest level,” he added.

Jones was born in New York but grew up in Barbados, where he represented earlier in his career, before returning to the United States to be part of the team.

He recognizes that the team has the added responsibility of being ambassadors for the sport when it plays games in Texas, Florida and New York.

“Obviously what you do on the field is very important, but I also think things off the field are also very important, especially in a country that doesn't know much about cricket,” he said. declared.

“We want the fans to step up; we want to get a lot more support from Americans born and raised and I think we can only do that by playing well on the field and obviously interacting with the fans or the fans. growing fans off the field as well,” added Jones.

Interestingly, the first ever international cricket match took place between the United States and Canada in 1844 in New York and there were a multitude of clubs, notably in Philadelphia and New York.

But baseball quickly replaced cricket as the summer sport of choice, with cricket virtually disappearing except in a few cases.

However, in recent years the growing South Asian and Caribbean communities have led a revival with competitive amateur leagues now well established and last year a new professional T20 league, Major League Cricket, was launched.

Grand Prairie Field, a converted minor league baseball park, opened last year while Lauderhill Cricket Ground, near Fort Lauderdale in south Florida, has already hosted a number international matches.

The Long Island venue, which will host the big India-Pakistan clash, is a temporary 34,000-seat stadium that will be dismantled after the tournament, although the cricket ground itself will remain.

Jones, who made his debut for the United States in 2018, says the change over the past few years has been remarkable.

“I think we're on the rise at the moment in terms of the amount of cricket we're playing, in terms of the infrastructure, the different pitches, a lot more access to grass wickets, which is very important for us.

“Definitely there have been some quality players coming into the country over the last couple of years which has obviously improved the competition. So at the moment I think things are only progressing and we just want to keep growing from now on,” he said.

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This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modification to the text.

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