Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world. Cumulative revenue between now and 2023 for the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council, is projected at $2.5 billion to $2.8 billion. The number of people playing cricket in the United States is small — ICC had 37,338 total participants in its development program in 2013 — but the sport is getting bigger in part due to a growing expatriate fan base.
"You have a lot of expat cricket fans from India, Pakistan and Jamaica who are starved for cricket in any form," said U.S. correspondent Peter Della Penna of ESPNcricInfo. "Those are the people who have been buying tickets to this event."
Tickets for the All-Star Cricket event range from $50 to $175, and while there was strong interest initially, ticket sales have slowed down at the higher prices.
"You can go to an NFL game for cheaper," Della Penna said of the $175 ticket price.
Usman Shuja began playing cricket as a 1-year-old in the backyard with his brother and dad in Pakistan. His father played professional cricket and wanted to pass the sport on to his son at a young age. Shuja attended the University of Texas and went on to play for the U.S. National Cricket Team.
He said he believes that youth programs and getting kids interested at a young age, like he was, will be critical for the sport's success in the United States. But he said "a lot of things that have to happen in concert" for cricket to take off. "Hopefully, the U.S. National Cricket Team will start performing well," he added.