Less than two months after hosting its first international cricket event—the Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament—Indianapolis World Sports Park has landed another notable event.
During two weeks in September, the facility off Post Road on the city’s east side will host a combine-style tryout for cricket players ages 16 to 30 from the United States, Canada and Bermuda.
Players at the locally held tryout will be playing for the opportunity to participate in an international tournament in 2016 in the West Indies and could also be offered a tryout or contract to play in the 2016 Caribbean Premier League, said officials for the International Cricket Council, which is organizing the tryout.
The tryout at the World Sports Park was announced at the ICC’s Annual Conference in Barbados last month.
“We had a really good experience at the [World Sports Park] in Indianapolis in May and obviously want the facility to continue to be used,” said Tim Anderson, ICC head of global development.
Some city taxpayers are still upset that Mayor Greg Ballard paid $5 million to turn Post Road Community Park into World Sports Park, but cricket players, ICC members and other cricket insiders have recently raved about the facility.
“I didn’t hear anything negative about this [venue],” said Jatin Patel, a locally based cricket coach and volunteer during May’s ICC cricket tournament here. “Everyone was impressed. I think there’s a lot of potential to bring other [cricket] events to the World Sports Park.”
Anderson added that Indianapolis’ reputation as a sports capital and Mayor Ballard’s support of cricket have made the World Sports Park a strong location for cricket events.
The tryout will take part in two phases. The first will be Sept. 18-21. The best players from phase one will be invited back for phase two, Sept. 24-27, and will be joined by star performers from previous ICC tournaments. The best players from the second phase will make up an ICC-sanctioned Americas team for the West Indies tournament in early 2016.
Online registration for the local tryout closes July 17. Anderson expects strong interest, and said participation for the first phase will be capped at 100 players.