Lauderhill set to host Cricket T20 World Cup, first ever in North America

In June, for the first time, the United States will host matches for the T20 Cricket World Cup. The four South Florida matches won’t be held in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, but rather in Lauderhill, where the community has embraced the game. 

Buoyed by a large Caribbean and South Asian population, Lauderhill has become a significant player in international cricket. In 2010, Broward Central Regional Park, located in the city, was awarded accreditation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its cricket stadium, the first in North America. Now the city will have its first chance to shine on an international stage.

The sport historically associated with Lauderhill isn’t cricket, but golf. From 1972-1980, the Inverrary Country Club hosted the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic, which used Gleason’s stardom to attract golf celebrities. Today that tournament is known as the Honda Classic. The course also hosted the 1976 Tournament Players Championship, won by Jack Nicklaus. In addition, the LPGA hosted tour events at the course in the early ’90s.

The Inverrary Country Club permanently shut its doors in 2020 due to a decline in popularity. As its overgrown fairways and dilapidated clubhouse await redevelopment, cricket has become the city’s pastime.

“We have about seven to 10 grounds where we are playing on a weekly basis every Sunday excluding holidays,” said Zach Sattaur, 31, who learned the game from his father and plays on weekends. “We are grateful we’re able to have cricket year-round . . . cricket is a rapidly growing sport.”

For weekend warriors, the sport is played informally at several parks in Broward, including Central Broward Park, Lauderhill Sports Park, Miramar Regional Park, and Tradewinds Park. There are also formal leagues that host tournaments throughout the year including The South Florida Cricket Alliance, Gold Coast Cricket League, and the South Florida Premier League, which BCC Ignite and Sattaur won on March 10. Sattaur has also played in Minor League Cricket, a developmental league for the newly launched Major League Cricket, with the Ft. Lauderdale Lions since 2021.

A group of South Florida cricketers playing at Miramar Regional Park. (Photo courtesy of Carlton Gillespie / Caplin News)

The impact of that growth can be seen at Lauderhill Sports Park, where the baseball diamond has been completely retrofitted. Cricket boundary lines bisect the foul lines, an electronic scoreboard that counts wickets and overs hangs below a traditional baseball scoreboard, and a cricket pitch lies just beyond second base.

“Oh no,” laughs Sattaur. “I’ve never seen anyone play baseball there.”

Currently, the park is hosting its 20th annual T20 Night Cricket Tournament where locals represent their home countries every Saturday from March 9 until May 18. 

Broward Regional Park and Stadium has hosted a number of international matches since 2010, and the atmosphere, as well as the economic impact, has been significant for the city.

“It’s gonna be a huge party; whenever there’s a matchup, they’re attracting people,” said Lorena Ledesma, a former Lauderhill Development Coordinator. “Not only locally, but people are traveling from across the country, at the very least, and definitely from the Caribbean.”

The city will hope to capitalize on the attention from the World Cup this June. 

The matchups held in Lauderhill are as follows:

June 11 – Sri Lanka vs. Nepal 

June 14 – USA vs. Ireland

June 15 – Canada vs. India

June 16 – Pakistan vs Ireland

Ticket prices depend on the match, ranging from $50-$250, and are available at Tickets for sold out matches are also available on reselling sites like Stubhub.

For earlier coverage of this story, click here.

Carlton is a Digital Broadcasting student and intends to pursue a career in journalism. Born and raised in Broward County, he hopes to combine his passion for this community and storytelling to deliver news, insights, and perspectives to the people of South Florida.