Jones: USA’s Super 8s qualification massive for the next generation – Football News

Jones: USA’s Super 8s qualification massive for the next generation

USA star Aaron Jones hopes his country’s historic qualification for the Super 8s will inspire the next generation of budding American cricketers to take up the sport.

Jones got the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 off to a flying start, firing 10 sixes in an unbeaten 94 from 40 balls as USA beat Canada, and he went on to star in the super over in the famous win over Pakistan.

USA will now face South Africa, England and fellow co-hosts West Indies in the Super 8s and their impact on the pitch is helping to capture the imaginations of Americans off it, some of whom had not encountered cricket before.

Jones said: “Qualifying for the Super 8s is a big thing for us, and not just us, but the fans and the younger generation in America. The further we go in the tournament, the better for us, and the better for us bringing fans on board with cricket.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve shown that we can definitely compete and beat some of the Full Member nations so we are definitely looking forward to the challenge.

“We would love to play more cricket against them – that’s where we’re going to test ourselves, against the best in the world.

“Just being able to play in a World Cup is the most rewarding thing. We’ve been speaking over the last couple of years about playing World Cups, getting Test status and taking USA cricket to higher heights.”

Jones believes that aside from promoting the tournaments, the best way to continue to grow cricket in the States is to get it embedded into the school system so that young people can understand it and enjoy playing.

USA player Steven Taylor was nicknamed ‘cricket guy’ at school because he was the only one who would talk about it, and he is now relishing playing at the highest level.

“It’s a serious feeling,” he said. “I’m proud to be American, playing in my hometown, in a World Cup.”

He previously declared that it would be a dream come true to qualify for the next round, and he knows the importance of this milestone having been achieved for the sport’s success in the States.

Taylor compared cricket now to soccer’s status when it was properly introduced to the country, and he and his teammates are well aware of how the success of the national team can accelerate that growth.

The USA hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994 and the hope is that this competition will have a similarly galvanising effect in a country which currently plays hosts to around 400 individual cricket leagues and 200,000 cricketers.

They will be playing solely in the Caribbean in the Super 8s but the cut-through back home is only set to continue – particularly if they are able to upset more of the established nations in the coming days.

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