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Cricket is Coming to WTC

cricket image Source: Marcus Wallis on Unsplash.

Cricket is coming to New York City this June for the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup. In partnership with the ICC, the World Trade Center is hosting an outdoor viewing of select games of the 2024 Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup on the North Oculus Plaza on a large screen starting on June 1 through the final game on June 29. The ICC will have special fan activations, including face painting and sign making stations, cricket simulators, World Cup trophy displays, appearances by cricket players and mascots are planned for each game day.


Fun facts about cricket:

The longest cricket match took place in 1939 between England and South Africa and lasted for 9 days.

  • Cricket bats were originally shaped like hockey sticks!
  • The first cricket balls were actually wool wrapped in leather.
  • Despite cricket being a summer sport, players spend half the time wearing sweaters. Go figure!

Cricket is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. If you are not a cricket expert yet, we are here to help you out. We asked one of cricket’s biggest fans at the Port Authority of NY and NJ, Rizwan Baig, several questions to give us his perspective of the game and tips for watching it.


About Rizwan Baig:

Rizwan Baig is the Chief Engineer at the Port Authority of NY & NJ. At 18 years old, he was deciding between continuing his schooling or pursuing a professional cricket career in Pakistan. Spoiler: he chose the career that has led him to be a Port Authority employee for over 34 years in various roles and ultimately becoming Chief Engineer in 2023. 

employee with cricket equipment

1. Do you play cricket?

I played cricket for my high school, university and went on to play local leagues. My mother was a huge fan of cricket and came to watch my games. I have every TV channel that broadcast cricket leagues around the world and can’t stop watching or playing!


2. What are your favorite parts of the cricket game?

I particularly enjoy the strategic aspect of cricket, such as choosing the right bowler for a situation or deciding when to take risks in batting. I also enjoy the strategic stand-offs between a bowler and a batsman—it’s like watching a chess game, but with more physical exertion and less sitting down.


3. What is your favorite cricket team and cricketer?

My favorite team is the Pakistan national cricket team, and my favorite cricketer is Virat Kholi. His technique and consistency are truly inspiring. I can’t wait to watch India vs Pakistan final - that is nail biting.


4. What are the key aspects a beginner should look for in a cricket game?

As a beginner, you should know who’s batting, who’s bowling, and why everyone suddenly claps when a guy swings and misses. It’s all about the basics: runs, wickets, and sipping tea during breaks. Oops, don’t forget the zeera biscuits!


5. Any traditional ceremonies, foods, drinks, etc. that are part of cricket and/or the World Cup?

Cricket matches, especially during the World Cup, often feature opening ceremonies with cultural performances. Traditional foods and drinks vary by hosting country but generally include local favorites that cater to the diverse audience, like tea and snacks in England or samosas in India and Pakistan.


6. What makes cricket different from other sports?

Cricket is distinct in its combination of strategic depth, historical traditions, and the variety of formats from slow moving Test matches to fast phase T20s. This allows for both long strategic battles and short, intense bursts of play, accommodating different audience preferences.


7. Do the ICC World Cup games have any different rules than a typical cricket game?

ICC World Cup games generally follow the standard One Day International (ODI) rules, but there are often minor adjustments in terms of fielding restrictions, powerplays, and technology usage like the Decision Review System (DRS) to enhance the game's fairness and excitement.


8. The World Trade Center campus holds a lot of symbolic meaning for many people. How do you think hosting events like this adds to the significance of the location?

  • Hosting events at symbolic locations like the World Trade Center campus adds a layer of profound respect and commemoration. It not only honors the site's history but also showcases the unifying power of global sports in healing and bringing people together.
  • Placing cricket in a venue as poignant as the World Trade Center is like saying, “We remember, and we unite.” It’s a mix of tribute and global handshakes, all wrapped up in one game.


9. Cricket is known for its passionate fans. What do you think it is about the sport that fosters such strong fan loyalty and comradery?

The intricate rules and long duration of games allow fans to immerse deeply in the sport, creating a sense of community and belonging. The historical rivalries and national pride in international matches also intensify fan engagement and loyalty.


10. With the Cricket World Cup being such a global event, how do you think it helps to unite fans from diverse backgrounds and cultures?

The Cricket World Cup is a celebration of international spirit and sportsmanship. By bringing together teams and fans from various backgrounds, it fosters a sense of global unity and mutual respect among cultures.


11. Cricket has seen many innovations over the years, from new formats like T20 to advancements in technology. What do you see as the most significant changes or developments in the sport during your time following it?

  • The introduction of Twenty20 (T20) cricket in 2003 has been one of the most significant changes, appealing to a broader audience with its fast-paced action. T20 cricket is the sport’s attempt to be more 'express'—less time, more action, like a cricket espresso shot.
  • Technological advancements like instant replays, Hawk-Eye for ball tracking, and more sophisticated broadcasting techniques have also greatly enhanced how fans experience the game. The tech in cricket has more eyes than a fly, with cameras and sensors everywhere making sure not even a sneaky run goes unnoticed. This data is also greatly used to track players performances. 
  • Cricket bats have come a long way with lot more focus on design for individual batters.  

For more information about the game, read ESPN’s Guide to Cricket. Whether you are a cricket expert or discovering a (new to you) sport, stop by to watch one of the games at the World Trade Center in June. Click here for the full schedule of live games – we will see you there! 

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