Virat Kohli makes big statement ahead of T20 World Cup 2024 – Republic World

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli | Image: AP

India's star batsman Virat Kohli on Friday expressed his excitement about the T20 World Cup 2024, which will be played in the United States and West Indies. Kohli, who arrived in New York on Friday evening (Indian time) to prepare for the tournament, admitted that he never imagined playing cricket in the United States and underlined the significance of the development.

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“I honestly never thought that cricket in any capacity would be played in the US but now it has become a reality,” Kohli said in a video shared by the US Consulate in Mumbai on Twitter.

“It speaks to the sport's growing influence around the world and the US will be happy to embrace this change and perhaps the first to embrace it on a global scale through the World Cup,” he said before leaving India to join his national teammates in New York.

Kohli called the T20 World Cup in the Americas a “great start” and hopes the event will have a domino effect on the global popularity and growth of cricket. “It's a great start. It's an ideal start and it's going to have a huge impact. It's going to start a kind of domino effect and hopefully it will continue for a long time,” Kohli said.

Virat Kohli also pointed out the important role that South Asian migrants in the US play in sustaining and growing the sport. “We have enough talent from across the US to keep cricket alive and expose others to the feeling of playing and watching cricket,” Kohli said.

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Kohli pointed to Major League Cricket (MLC) and noted its potential and that cricket in the US is moving in a positive direction. “MLC has great potential too. We're already seeing franchise cricket. It's moving in the right direction,” he added. MLC was recently granted List A status by the ICC ahead of its second season, further boosting cricket's prospects in the region.

India is scheduled to play a warm-up match against Bangladesh on June 1. The tournament opener is scheduled to be against Ireland on June 5. India will then face arch-rivals Pakistan on June 9. Kohli is expected to be named in the squad given his current form.

(with PTI input)

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