Popular race car venue used to promote cricket in America

Indianopolis (Brazil), Sep 27 (IANS) Former West Indies pacer Courtney Walsh was among officials who welcomed players selected for Phase 2 of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) America’s combine during an event on the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was also on hand to welcome the players at the IMS which hosts the Indianapolis 500, the largest one-day sporting event in the world that attracts a crowd of over 300,000 fans on Saturday, reports CMC.

Walsh, a West Indies legend and an ICC Cricket Hall of Famer, also bowled to Mayor Ballard in a game of street cricket which involved Indy car driver Conor Daly, and some of the Combine players at the IMS.

“We were lucky that the ICC picked us to host a (World) Twenty20 Qualifier a couple months ago. We had four countries playing here on the terrific field at the Indianapolis World Sports Park,” said Mayor Ballard.

“Now we have the (ICC Americas) Combine. It’s an incredible sport to watch.”

Thirty-three players from Bermuda, Canada, Suriname and the US have been selected for Phase 2 of the Combine that commenced Saturday at the Indianapolis World Sports Park.

An ICC Americas team will be selected after the Combine to participate in the WICB’s Nagico Super 50 event in January 2016.

“The sports community in this town is unique (and) has made us feel incredibly welcome,” said ICC Head of Global Development, Tim Anderson.

“Mayor Ballad saw the opportunity that cricket has in the USA. There are two billion cricket fans across the world and over 15 million in this country. Cricket is about to take off, and with the help of the city of Indianapolis, we’re on a great track.”

The Combine will conclude on September 27.

Walsh, internationally renowned American fielding Coach Mike Young and former Indian international and ICC Asia Development Officer Venkatapathy Raju are part of the coaching panel.

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