Building the Future: Harmeet Singh Calls for Infrastructure Development Ahead of 2026 T20 World Cup

The euphoria of the USA’s cricket team defeating Pakistan and advancing to the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup 2024 has now dissipated. Despite their historic achievement, the USA’s campaign concluded with two heavy losses on slow pitches in Barbados. These defeats highlighted a significant challenge: the team’s inability to adapt quickly to outdoor conditions, primarily due to their indoor training regimen.

Call for Better Facilities

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Harmeet Singh, the USA allrounder, stresses the urgent need for improved outdoor infrastructure as the team looks forward to the 2026 T20 World Cup in India. Singh believes that the USA has automatically qualified for the next World Cup, but to compete at a higher level, better training facilities are essential.

“For the whole group, we just need infrastructure to practise better, to train better,” Singh emphasized. “We need the whole system in place. Trainers need to be able to work with us all year even if remotely. If you see England, Australia, all the destinations, they have incredible infrastructure in every state. Being indoors doesn’t help. We need a lot more outdoor set-ups, need good training facilities.”

Infrastructure Development: The Immediate Goal

Singh highlighted that while new stadiums are under construction, the immediate focus should be on building more training facilities. “Stadiums are coming up, but the short-term goal should be building a lot of infrastructure for guys to be able to train so that the whole grassroots [cricketers get to train better] and our bench strength also builds with that,” he said. Singh pointed out that while playing in franchise cricket helps individual players, a comprehensive infrastructure is crucial for developing a cricketing nation.

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Overcoming the Associate Team Challenges

Singh explained the challenges faced by associate teams like the USA, who don’t get to play enough competitive cricket to improve consistently. This lack of regular play can lead to poor performances in tournaments, which in turn fuels arguments for smaller World Cups.

“The nature of the sport is that associate teams don’t get to play the amount of cricket that is required to get better,” Singh stated. “It can become a vicious cycle that ends up in underwhelming performances if you play straight in tournaments, which in turn leads to calls for World Cups to become smaller. To be able to play regularly against bigger opponents, you have to be a big commercial draw, which USA currently aren’t.”

Reaching Beyond the Asian Diaspora

Despite these challenges, Singh believes the recent World Cup has helped cricket reach beyond the traditional Asian diaspora in the USA. He sees this as an opportunity to capitalize on the growing interest in the sport.

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“The cricketing community is large, especially in Texas where I come from, or New Jersey as well,” Singh said. “Seattle has a big cricket community. The West Coast, the overall California area, everywhere, there is a lot of cricket going on. It’s just that we don’t have enough turf practice facilities everywhere. We just have kids practising indoors.”

The Need for Outdoor Practice

Singh underscored the importance of outdoor practice facilities for the growth of young cricketers. He highlighted the stark difference in skill development between indoor and outdoor training environments.

“Let’s say being a professional cricketer [before moving to the US], I can manage going from indoors to outdoors. I know the differences. Kids when they practise indoors, they go outdoors straight away on turf pitches, and there’s no feet, nothing. So all that needs to change and hopefully, in the near future, we have a lot more practice facilities than just building grounds. Go to India or anywhere in a Test-playing nation, we have so many grounds to practise. All the academies are outdoor academies and then you go indoors [only] when it’s raining.”

Looking Ahead to 2026

Singh also pointed out the financial burden on parents who invest in their children’s cricket training, only to see limited growth due to inadequate facilities. “I know parents who spend a lot of money on their kids to train, but then the problem lies is when you are just doing indoors, the growth is standard, it’s not a lot of growth. And then when they go outdoors, the kids feel the heat. ‘Oh it’s hot.’ It’s supposed to be hot.”

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Singh believes that the recent World Cup experience has instilled confidence in the team, and now the focus should be on continuous improvement. “There’s a lot to learn and everybody has come a long way from where we started,” Singh said. “And then there’s a lot of confidence also in the team that we’ve battled against the best. And when we were at our best, we did push them to the line. So I think there’s so much to learn.”

Starting the Journey Now

For Singh, the preparation for the 2026 World Cup must begin immediately. “The work starts now,” he asserted. “Not tomorrow, the work starts now in our heads. We need to think how we are going to be at the 2026 World Cup. And then from now to then, the journey needs to be from us personally putting in the work and then USA Cricket also providing us lots and lots of games and training opportunities. And then franchise cricket [for those who can]. And then putting that preparation into the 2026 World Cup and get the best result.”

As the USA cricket team looks to build on its recent successes, Singh’s call for better facilities and infrastructure is a crucial step toward ensuring the team’s growth and competitiveness on the global stage. The journey to the 2026 T20 World Cup begins now, and with the right support and resources, the USA can aim for even greater achievements in the future.

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The euphoria of the USA's cricket team defeating Pakistan and advancing to the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup 2024 has now dissipated. Despite their historic achievement, the USA’s campaign concluded with two heavy losses on slow pitches in Barbados. These defeats highlighted a significant challenge: the team’s inability to adapt quickly to outdoor conditions, primarily due to their indoor training regimen.

Call for Better Facilities

Harmeet Singh, the USA allrounder, stresses the urgent need for improved outdoor infrastructure as the team looks forward to the 2026 T20 World Cup in India. Singh believes that the USA has automatically qualified for the next World Cup, but to compete at a higher level, better training facilities are essential.

“For the whole group, we just need infrastructure to practise better, to train better,” Singh emphasized. “We need the whole system in place. Trainers need to be able to work with us all year even if remotely. If you see England, Australia, all the destinations, they have incredible infrastructure in every state. Being indoors doesn't help. We need a lot more outdoor set-ups, need good training facilities.”

Infrastructure Development: The Immediate Goal

Singh highlighted that while new stadiums are under construction, the immediate focus should be on building more training facilities. “Stadiums are coming up, but the short-term goal should be building a lot of infrastructure for guys to be able to train so that the whole grassroots [cricketers get to train better] and our bench strength also builds with that,” he said. Singh pointed out that while playing in franchise cricket helps individual players, a comprehensive infrastructure is crucial for developing a cricketing nation.

Overcoming the Associate Team Challenges

Singh explained the challenges faced by associate teams like the USA, who don’t get to play enough competitive cricket to improve consistently. This lack of regular play can lead to poor performances in tournaments, which in turn fuels arguments for smaller World Cups.

“The nature of the sport is that associate teams don't get to play the amount of cricket that is required to get better,” Singh stated. “It can become a vicious cycle that ends up in underwhelming performances if you play straight in tournaments, which in turn leads to calls for World Cups to become smaller. To be able to play regularly against bigger opponents, you have to be a big commercial draw, which USA currently aren't.”

Reaching Beyond the Asian Diaspora

Despite these challenges, Singh believes the recent World Cup has helped cricket reach beyond the traditional Asian diaspora in the USA. He sees this as an opportunity to capitalize on the growing interest in the sport.

"The cricketing community is large, especially in Texas where I come from, or New Jersey as well," Singh said. "Seattle has a big cricket community. The West Coast, the overall California area, everywhere, there is a lot of cricket going on. It's just that we don't have enough turf practice facilities everywhere. We just have kids practising indoors."

The Need for Outdoor Practice

Singh underscored the importance of outdoor practice facilities for the growth of young cricketers. He highlighted the stark difference in skill development between indoor and outdoor training environments.

"Let's say being a professional cricketer [before moving to the US], I can manage going from indoors to outdoors. I know the differences. Kids when they practise indoors, they go outdoors straight away on turf pitches, and there's no feet, nothing. So all that needs to change and hopefully, in the near future, we have a lot more practice facilities than just building grounds. Go to India or anywhere in a Test-playing nation, we have so many grounds to practise. All the academies are outdoor academies and then you go indoors [only] when it's raining."

Looking Ahead to 2026

Singh also pointed out the financial burden on parents who invest in their children’s cricket training, only to see limited growth due to inadequate facilities. “I know parents who spend a lot of money on their kids to train, but then the problem lies is when you are just doing indoors, the growth is standard, it's not a lot of growth. And then when they go outdoors, the kids feel the heat. 'Oh it's hot.' It's supposed to be hot."

Singh believes that the recent World Cup experience has instilled confidence in the team, and now the focus should be on continuous improvement. “There's a lot to learn and everybody has come a long way from where we started,” Singh said. “And then there's a lot of confidence also in the team that we've battled against the best. And when we were at our best, we did push them to the line. So I think there's so much to learn.”

Starting the Journey Now

For Singh, the preparation for the 2026 World Cup must begin immediately. “The work starts now,” he asserted. “Not tomorrow, the work starts now in our heads. We need to think how we are going to be at the 2026 World Cup. And then from now to then, the journey needs to be from us personally putting in the work and then USA Cricket also providing us lots and lots of games and training opportunities. And then franchise cricket [for those who can]. And then putting that preparation into the 2026 World Cup and get the best result.”

As the USA cricket team looks to build on its recent successes, Singh’s call for better facilities and infrastructure is a crucial step toward ensuring the team's growth and competitiveness on the global stage. The journey to the 2026 T20 World Cup begins now, and with the right support and resources, the USA can aim for even greater achievements in the future.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram