Lauderhill, Florida starting on Wednesday will be the first time the US national team has faced a Test-playing nation on home soil

Cricket in the United States will break new ground next week when Ireland embark on a landmark five-game tour as moves continue to establish the game in North America.

The two Twenty20 and three one-day, 50-over international matches (ODIs) taking place in Lauderhill, Florida starting on Wednesday will be the first time the US national team has faced a Test-playing nation on home soil.

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That in itself will serve as an important moment for American cricket, which has failed to take root in the United States despite first being played in North America in the 18th century.

Yet with firm plans in the works to help establish a T20 professional League within the next two years, which in turn may boost chances of cricket making its Olympic debut in Los Angeles at the 2028 Games, the timing of Ireland’s visit couldn’t be better.

Furthermore, this is the first home series since confirmation that the US will co-host the 2024 T20 World Cup with the West Indies.

USA are currently ranked 18th in the world for ODIs, according to the International Cricket Council, the sport’s governing body, and although Ireland are currently 12th — for T20 the rankings are 30 and 13 respectively — there is a strong belief that the Americans can upset the form book.

‘Sending a message’

“This is the biggest home series we have had,” USA captain Monank Patel told AFP.

“This means a lot to the team and this acts as the start for the global qualifiers for the big tournaments coming up,” the Gujarat-born wicketkeeper added.

“Playing well against Ireland will send out a big message to the other associate teams we compete with.”

US optimism is also based on the emergence of a promising crop of youth players, which includes highly-rated wicketkeeper Rahul Jariwala, 17, and 19-year-old left-arm spinner Vatsal Vaghela,

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