Tournament director Fawwaz Bakhsh said the T20 World Cup in June will be an unforgettable party with a strong Caribbean flavor that will help firmly establish cricket in the American sporting landscape.
Six Caribbean countries will co-host the tournament with the United States, a market that cricket's powerbrokers consider vital if it is to grow beyond Commonwealth countries and become a truly global game.
New York, Miami and Dallas will jointly host 16 matches and Baksh is confident that the best way to include cricket in the jam-packed US sports market is to make the global showpiece a grand party.
Guyana's sports administrator said, “When you pair the West Indies and the USA, it's a recipe for success.”
“In the West Indies we are known for having a great time, we are known for the party atmosphere. When fans come here and watch the game, they should expect this.
“So come here to watch great cricket, but also come here to have a great experience.”
The demand for tickets has been encouraging.
Since the public ballot was launched last week, more than 1.2 million applications were received from 126 countries within the first 48 hours, Bakhsh said.
This included 900,000 people from America and the West Indies.
“Starting with cricket in America, which is a new market for us, we weren't quite sure what the reaction would be,” he said.
“We know there are a lot of expatriates to the United States and people from all over the world are interested in cricket.
“But it's very encouraging to see this kind of response.”
The ninth edition of the T20 World Cup will be the biggest ever, with an increase from 16 to 20 teams, opening up a larger pool of expatriate fans to the United States.
When the 50-over World Cup was held in the West Indies in 2007, it was marred by low attendance figures, but Baksh said Caribbean administrators had learned their lesson.
Ticket prices for this year's tournament start at just $6, he said.
“If you want to introduce the game to America, if you want to revive cricket in the West Indies, you have to bring the fans here,” he said.
“And the only way to get fans here is to make tickets attractive and make them accessible.”
The 43-year-old player believes that the World Cup can set the standard for future global tournaments.
“We all wanted this tournament here and we all want to take advantage of it,” Baksh said.
“When the tournament is over, people around the world will say 'T20 World Cup should be held only in West Indies and America.'
“That's our goal and we're going to achieve it.”