Two-time champion Chris Gayle and United States star Ali Khan lit up the iconic skyscraper of New York’s Empire State Building, which marked the official launch of the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Trophy Tour.

Gayle, who ignited the game’s shortest format before his retirement, had the honour of pulling the lever to light up New York’s most iconic building in the navy and magenta colours of the event. The former Jamaica and West Indies batsman also showcased the trophy which 20 teams will compete for in the June 1-29 tournament across the West Indies and United States.

The event marks the first time an ICC World Cup will be held in United States, including eight matches at the brand new, state-of-the-art modular 34,000 capacity stadium in Nassau County, New York. Newly renovated existing venues Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas and Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, will each host four fixtures.

Co-hosts West Indies have a rich history in T20 cricket, having won the T20 World Cup twice, with popular Caribbean tourist destinations, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago all hosting matches.

The ‘Out of this World’ Trophy Tour will reach 15 countries across four continents as it visits iconic sporting teams and stadia, famous landmarks, and legendary cricketers, while also giving fans the chance to get a glimpse of T20 cricket’s biggest global prize. In addition to visiting all host venues across the West Indies and United States, the Trophy tour will also visit emerging Americas cricket countries Argentina, Brazil, and Canada, enabling new fans to connect with what will be a landmark event in the region.

ICC General Manager, Marketing and Communications, Claire Furlong said the anticipation has been heightened as the historic tournament is now less than three months away.

“As we count down to the World Cup, the Trophy Tour provides fans with the opportunity to be part of the event in locations across the globe. The Tour will travel extensively across the Americas, igniting the passion of both new and existing fans to share in the excitement of T20 cricket's pinnacle global event coming to the region and what better way to kick it off than by lighting up one of the world’s most iconic buildings in one of the world’s most iconic cities,” she said.

“Cricket has more than a billion fans and we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get up close with the trophy that will be lifted by the winning captain in Barbados on June 29,” Furlong added.

Fawwaz Baksh ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Tournament Director echoed similar sentiments.

“The start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy tour is an emphatic signal to fans worldwide that the World Cup is coming. Throughout its Caribbean leg of the tour, fans can look forward to a plethora of engaging activities, including meet-and-greets with Cricket stars and legends, Caribbean infused cultural entertainment, and the opportunity to see and take pictures of the trophy in person at some of the region’s most iconic locations.

“In addition to fan-facing engagements, the trophy tour will also serve as a platform to leverage the continued growth of Cricket globally and to drive positive change and leave a lasting impact on communities,” Baksh said.

Meanwhile, following huge demand of more than three million ticket applications in the public ballot, additional tickets have been released for 51 of 55 matches, including fixtures where allocations were previously exhausted.

In the West Indies, tickets are now available to matches at all six host locations, including Group Stage, Super 8 and semi-final matches, ensuring as many fans as possible can attend. Fans can create an account and purchase tickets now at tickets.t20worldcup.com.This is the fastest and easiest way for fans to get the tickets they want. All online transactions at tickets.t20worldcup.com are secure. 

Also available now are a range of premium hospitality offerings inclusive of food and beverage packages for all fixtures at Nassau County International Stadium in New York and to all matches at West Indies venues at tickets.t20worldcup.com. 

The Trophy Tour schedule for March and April

March 18 to 20: New York, USA 

March 21 to 23: Houston, Grand Prairie and Dallas, USA 

March 26 to 27: Buenos Aires, Argentina 

March 28 to 29: Sao Paulo, Brazil 

April 3 to 4: Jamaica 

April 13 to 14: Barbados 

April 17 to 18: Antigua and Barbuda 

April 19 to 20: Saint Lucia 

Having already identified a powerhouse batting line-up, West Indies white-ball Head coach Darren Sammy says the only task left is to assign specific roles for bowlers to be fully prepared for this year’s ICC Men's Twenty20 (T20) World Cup at home in June.

Cricket’s shortest format remains a strong suit for West Indies, who won both their T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016 under Sammy’s captaincy.

The regional side again showcased their prowess when they won T20 series against South Africa, India and England in 2023, and posted three successive 200-plus scores in Australia earlier this year, despite losing that series 2-1. Those results have left Sammy upbeat about the prospects, as they look ahead to the global showpiece to be hosted jointly in the West Indies and United States.

“The way my batters batted, I think it’s the first time a team had scored over 200 three-consecutive times whether batting first or chasing, and it speaks volumes of the power that we have in that squad. It sends a strong message to the world from our batting group that West Indies is a dangerous force,” Sammy said in a recent Cricket West Indies interview.

“I’ve said it before to my guys. I said to them, ‘I’ve seen this team before, this type of power, the explosiveness’. It was a team that I captained before, so to see it eight years since I left the game... man, it’s exciting times for us in the World Cup coming in June," he added.