KARACHI President of USA Cricket Association Gladstone Dainty has succeeded in persuading New Zealand and Sri Lanka to play a three-match international T20 series, the first ever in the USA, immediately after ICC World T20 in the neighboring Caribbean in mid May. New Zealand, which has over the years provided helping hand to the USACA, and Sri Lanka have agreed to play the series which will be played at the ICC approved exclusive cricket stadium in Florida. The D/N matches will be played on May 20, 22, 23 at the Central Broward Regional Park Cricket Stadium - the only ICC approved cricket stadium in North America, in Lauderhill, a suburb of Ft Lauderdale, Florida. The stadium holds up to 20,000 and was completed in November 2007. The two exciting teams will be fighting for the Pearls Cup named after the sponsor. Fort Lauderdale County is situated 30 kilometers from Miami which is known for a big following of the game, according to information received by TheNation here Friday. Finalising the series was possible after USACA signed an MOU with that an Indian property development company, Pearls Infrastructure, the official sponsor of the series and the two teams will be competing for the Pearls Cup. Pearls Infrastructure Managing Director ML Sehjpal was also excited about his companys involvement in such a ground-breaking event. We are delighted to support the endeavours of USA Cricket and New Zealand Cricket in growing the game in the United States, said Sajchpal. We are an Indian based company and whilst having international interests we are appealing to Indians through a major common interest and passion, the game of cricket. New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan said that the NZC has long seen the dynamic potential of cricket in the USA and made a strategic decision to offer to partner with USA Cricket; We have the experience and capacity to help develop the game of cricket in the USA. We are looking at ways of helping USA Cricket grow the game both professionally and at the grassroots. This T20 series is the first of many initiatives between our two cricket boards and we envisage the Blackcaps playing in the USA on an annual basis. Gladstone Dainty, a prosperous businessman of West Indian origin who brought discipline to American cricket after winning the elections of USACA held under the supervision of the ICC in the recent past, has described hosting the series as a historic which would provide great exposure to the game in the USA. The USACA under him has worked hard to bring the event, he said, after presiding over a meeting of the board of directors of USACA held recently. The USACA, he said, was excited about the potential impact of the coming series for the growth and development of cricket in the States. USA Cricket CEO Donald Lockerbie who is ICC points man in the States said the three-match series had been in the works for some time as part of the new Destination USA initiative. Last November an important strategic partnership was also made between New Zealand Cricket and USA Cricket to advance the game in the region. He said USACA believed that in order to grow the game of cricket in the USA, it needed to have the best teams in the world play in our country. The USACA, he said, wanted to demonstrate the American public just how exciting the T20 format is. Cricket is already popular here but has lacked major media coverage. This inaugural series is the first step to reverse this situation. Lockerbie also pointed out that the last time the sport of cricket made significant history in the United States was in 1844, when the Canada vs USA match was the first international sporting event between two nations in world history. Masood Ahmed known by his nickname Chick, a former Pakistan first class cricketer who played for PIA for a number of years before migrating to the States told TheNation that the announcement about the series has come after years of hard work of the USACA. He disclosed that USACA in the past had time and again approached the PCB with the offer to hold matches in the USA but officials who held office in the PCB never responded to letters written to them. They conveniently ignored request from the USA cricket officials though they could have clinched the offer and recorded their name in the history. Fortunately, New Zealand saw the potential and took the initiative and with the entry of the Pearl Infrastructure, the USACA under Dainty has finally made the long awaited break through. Masood, who is also a member of Board of USAC director, said with the signing of the MOU, the USACA would be hugely financially benefited for years. Signing of the MOU was a great break through which will help in the promotion of cricket in USA which has potential for the sport. The match series follows on the heels of the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies - with the finals in Barbados on May 16. Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said his nation is honoured to be one of the first two ICC full members to be involved in this historic series. We shall bring our finest team possible and look to return home with a great experience in the USA, helping the sport grow swiftly before thousands of American cricket fans. New Zealand were semi-finalists in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and made it through to the Super Eight stage of the 2009 event. Their current team includes many of the worlds leading players. Captain Daniel Vettori said his team is really excited about the prospect of playing in Florida. We know the series against Sri Lanka will be a great advertisement for international cricket to US fans. Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, only behind football (soccer) with approximately 15-million cricket fans living in the USA.