Sri Lanka to face New Zealand in United States

WELLINGTON, April 23, 2010 (AFP) – New Zealand will play a three-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in the United States next month, officials said Friday. The matches in Florida will launch a new strategic partnership between cricket authorities in New Zealand and the United States, New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said.

“This Twenty20 series is the first of many initiatives between our two cricket boards and we envisage New Zealand playing in the USA on an annual basis,” Vaughan said in a statement.

“We are looking at ways of helping USA Cricket grow the game both professionally and at the grassroots.”

The series, following the World Twenty20 in the West Indies, will be played at the only International Cricket Council-approved cricket stadium in North America, in Fort Lauderdale.

The three matches will be the first international cricket matches to be played by full ICC members in the United States.

USA Cricket president Gladstone Dainty said the series would provide great exposure for cricket in the United States, where there are an estimated 15 million fans.

“We are very excited about the potenti