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NZC sees USA as long-term investment.

WELLINGTON, May 30 -- New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is viewing its joint venture with United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) as a long-term investment that could even see USA host the ICC Champions Trophy, possibly after 2015. "(2013 is) a real long shot. We talked about that, but ICC regulations require two venues pretty close to each other and at the moment we've only got one (in Florida)," NZC chief Justin Vaughan told the New Zealand Herald. "It also needs a number of practice facilities and at the moment there are no other turf wickets in Florida, so it would be a stretch. From the ICC's perspective, and a commercial perspective, there would be a lot of enthusiasm for it, but it's probably a bridge too far. ICC events beyond 2015, certainly that is something very much on the horizon."

Despite the lukewarm response, and financial loss, generated by the two Twenty20 matches played between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Lauderhill, Florida, NZC has a lot of faith in the potential of the US market, particularly northern California, New York and Florida, areas with a high percentage of subcontinent expatriates. "The projected losses were being underwritten by a third party," Vaughan said. "So we can go ahead and further develop a relationship with US cricket. It will take time. I think everyone understands you are not going to immediately transform the US into a cricket-mad nation, or excite the local sponsors and broadcasters."

NZC's interest in the US is part of its strategy to increase revenues, as it seeks to diversify its income sources, currently limited to the dividends it receives from the ICC and from cricket played within New Zealand. That is why NZC views the recent Twenty20 matches as an important first step despite the games themselves being low-scoring affairs in front of modest crowds.

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Publication:Daily Times (Lahore, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:May 30, 2010
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