Updated May 31st, 2024 at 23:41 IST

'Kind of a domino effect': Virat Kohli makes big statement ahead of T20 World Cup 2024

India are slated to play a warm-up match against Bangladesh on June 1. India's opening match of the tournament is scheduled against Ireland on June 5.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli | Image:AP
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Star India batter Virat Kohli expressed his excitement on Friday about the T20 World Cup 2024 being held in the United States and the West Indies. Kohli, who landed in New York on Friday evening (Indian time) to prepare for the tournament, acknowledged that he had never imagined playing cricket in the US, highlighting the significance of this development.

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“Honestly I never thought we would be playing cricket in any form in the states (USA), but now it’s a reality,” Kohli said in a video shared by US Consulate Mumbai on X (formerly Twitter).

“That tells you about the growing impact of the sport in the world and the United States is more than willing to accept the change and be probably the first ones on a global scale to accept it, in a way, with the World Cup,” he said, before his departure from India to link up with his national team-mates in New York.

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Virat Kohli on T20 World Cup being played in India

Terming the T20 World Cup in the Americas as a “great start,” Kohli hoped that the event would trigger a domino effect in promoting and expanding cricket globally. “It’s a great start. It’s the ideal way to begin and it’s going to have a huge impact. In starting off, a kind of a domino effect and I hope it carries on for a long period of time,” he said.

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Virat Kohli also pointed out the crucial role of the South Asian diaspora in the United States in sustaining and growing the sport. “We have enough people from our regions to keep the game up and alive in the States and make the others more aware about what it feels like to play and watch cricket,” he said.

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Referencing the Major League Cricket (MLC), Kohli noted its potential and the positive direction in which cricket in the US is heading. “It’s got great potential, with the MLC as well. There is already franchise cricket happening there. It’s moving in the right direction,” he added. The MLC recently received List A status from the ICC ahead of its second season, further boosting cricket's prospects in the region.

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India are slated to play a warm-up match against Bangladesh on June 1. India's opening match of the tournament is scheduled against Ireland on June 5. India will play their arch-rivals Pakistan on June 9. Kohli is expected to fature in the playing XI considering his form at the moment. 

(With PTI inputs)

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Published May 31st, 2024 at 23:41 IST