May 22, 2006

USA

Leave Americans to baseball

Martin Williamson

In an excellent (well, we would say that!) article, Cricinfo editor Sambit Bal has written about the claims that hosting ODIs in the USA will help promote the game there:

"Both the ICC and the West Indies Cricket Board have made pious-sounding statements about matches in the USA and Canada helping the spread of the game, and it is simply a false promise.

"A few years ago, when Jagmohan Dalmiya was taking cricket far and wide, I had felt a genuine surge of excitement. It was novel watching cricket matches in Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada. Some grounds were oddly shaped, the matches were thinly attended, and there were hardly any locals. But I supported the expansionist zeal, and hoped that cricket would catch on. I was naïve, and wrong."

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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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Posted by Charles on (June 28, 2006, 14:52 GMT)

"Chastened and wiser, I can now see the futility of the ambitions, genuine or otherwise, to grow cricket outside its natural habitat and I am prepared to venture that cricket will never catch on." It's unfortunate that the messenger has to be the focus, but one is left to wonder, if the author is truly chastened or wiser; has spent any significant time in the USA, visiting leagues, grounds, etc to see the vast array of cricket that is being played across this country. What would he have said visiting India, Pakistan, the West Indies in 1875? Does he consider nationalized Americans citizen of this country? And lastly, has he talked to any of the youth academies? There are plenty Americans working to grow cricket, perhaps not at the pace or likening of Mr. Bal. Come, let us show you cricket in the USA. Charles

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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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