January 13, 2006

USA

Clash looms in the USA

Martin Williamson

With the USA Cricket Association still doggedly determined to run cricket in the USA after it saw off the challenge from a rebel group of stakeholders, it has a new challenger - Major League Cricket.

A recent national event run by MLC in Florida was a success despite attempts by unknown parties, thought to support the USACA, to persuade and even intimidate sides to stay away. And now MLC has thrown down the gauntlet and started taking on the USACA head to head.

The contrast between the two could not be greater. MLC appears to be open, eager to speak to the media, and keen to host events and promote the game. The USACA has a history of CIA-like secrecy, shunning the media and, frankly, not doing much for the game in the country. It even managed to get its funding suspended by the ICC and was barred from attending the ICC AGM.

Gladstone Dainty, the president, clings on to power with grim determination but his time seems limited. And a USACA EGM to discuss the crisis attracted a single-figure attendance last month, leaving Dainty embarrassed but still there.

A good source of lively chat about the US cricket scene can be found at www.uscricket.com/ and click on forums.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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