• Monday, June 24, 2024

CRICKET

Usain Bolt launches New York venue for India-Pakistan T20 World Cup clash

The former sprinter from Jamaica, who is also the tournament’s ambassador, was accompanied by a number of sportspersons, both former and current, from cricket and sports popular in the US.

Usain Bolt (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images for Laureus)

By: Shubham Ghosh

LEGENDARY track-and-field athlete and eight-time Olympic gold winner Usain Bolt, who is also the ambassador of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and the United States, on Thursday (15) launched the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York which will host the marquee clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on June 9 besides seven others.

The 37-year-old former sprinter from Jamaica was seen along with many former cricketers and New York sporting icons during the event.

Among the former cricketers accompanying Bolt was West Indian Curtly Ambrose, Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik and England’s Liam Plunkett, among others. The International Cricket Council (ICC) shared pictures of the venue’s launching event on social media calling it “star power”.

Read: ‘India’s semifinal’ at T20 World Cup in Guyana on June 27… read on

Among other sporting stars were renowned names from popular American sports such as basketball (John Starks, Elena Delle Donne), baseball (Bartolo Colon), American football (Victor Cruz) and fencing (Ibtihaj Muhammad).

The sportspersons signed a huge cricket bat on the occasion that will remain at the venue for all the eight matches it will host between June 3 and 12.

Read: A ‘flying’ launch of India jersey for T20 World Cup leaves Rohit Sharma ‘surprised’

“Coming from the Caribbean where cricket is a part of life, I’m very excited to be part of the T20 World Cup coming to the USA for the first time, co-hosting with the West Indies,” Bolt said, as per an official ICC release.

“Getting one of the sport’s biggest events into the USA is a big milestone and can provide a launching pad leading towards cricket’s inclusion in the LA Olympics in 2028,” he added.

Bolt, who is considered as one of the greatest athletes of all time, said he wanted to become a fast bowler growing up in Jamaica and by becoming the ambassador for the T20 World Cup, he was getting to “live the dream”.

“I grew up on cricket. My dad was a massive cricket fan and still is. It is something that I have always in my blood. To be actually get to be a part of cricket again as an ambassador, it is wonderful. I never got to live my dream of being a cricketer so to be ambassador of T20 World Cup is wonderful,” Bolt told Press Trust of India from New York.

Bolt also expressed his admiration for former cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Wasim Akram and the West Indian bowling greats of Ambrose and Courtney Walsh and current India cricketer Virat Kohli.

(With PTI inputs)

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