June 11, 2007

USA

Deal opens door for USA return

Martin Williamson

The USA may well be readmitted to the international fold after talks between the warring factions battling for control of the USA Cricket Association in Washington over the weekend.

The USA was suspended by the ICC in March after two rival groups claimed to be the rightful ones to run the game in the country. The ICC asked the West Indies board (WICB) to intervene and try to find a solution. Only when the WICB reported back that the dispute had been settled would a readmission be considered.

Ken Gordon, the WICB president, met with the USA Cricket Association and representatives of the regional league presidents and the two sides agreed to revise the review of the constitution so that all stakeholders could be consulted. There were deep concerns at the short time given by the USACA for examination and debate of the previous new constitution before it had to be approved.

While specifics are hard to come by, a statement said that "the USACA has agreed to the proposals for the way forward made by the ICC and will move promptly to remove all impediments to the lifting of the suspension from Associate Membership imposed by that body". Firm time lines have been fixed and these will be closely observed.

It is likely that Gordon will now report back to the ICC when it meets in London later this month and there seems no reason that the suspension should be lifted.

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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 Asif Ahmad on (June 14, 2007, 21:32 GMT)

Promotion of Cricket in USA has not been the goal of USACA. If you look at up coming Under-15, U-13 and U-11 so-called national Tournament is nothing more than a local show. By CCA. Not many of the regions have kids to participate in this tournament. Only few private junior cricket academies are there to play. For cricket to gain any momentum in USA, we need fair and transparent people, without personal interests. For Mr. Wazir. I bought some land three years ago and built a decent cricket field for young cricket players. This could be done and let me know if you need any help.

Posted by wazir mohammed on (June 13, 2007, 3:02 GMT)

I am a west Indian living here in Orlando and would appreciate some advice and help in starting a North American League inclusive of Bermuda, Cayman Is, Virgin Is,etc. Appreciate your ideas and advice.

I am actively working together with some expats looking for a venue to hold an International Match in Orlando area. Also we are looking to purchase some land to be a venue for same. Currently working with county officials for approvals etc. Any ideas.

Posted by Arvind K on (June 13, 2007, 0:35 GMT)

The problem lies in promotion and awareness of the game. There need to be cricket games played here on us soil amongst major teams with their major players. Not just the Class B players, but superstars. I am pretty sure the ground/stadium where this is telecast will be full capacity. And if this game is televised then and only then will the demand and hunger for cricket increase. Basically you cannot just "import" and deploy. You gotta give the people a taste of it first. I mean if people here truly get to watch such an exhibition game they will forget all about the boring baseball.

Posted by Haroon Jahed on (June 13, 2007, 0:02 GMT)

NY City is spending $25 million this year on cricketing infrastructure. There's enough folks that know the basics around to get others interested, it's just hard to get a game.

In the short term, ideas like the US Tennis Ball Cricket Association will help a lot. It's too complex/expensive a sport to go from zero to a club side in one step. If the ICC really wants to help US cricket, they should clone the ECB's Urban Cricket program over here. Cricket died out here during the Civil War due to a lack of space and changing social mores. Those same factors are working against baseball today, but actually favor something like Urban Cricket.

Bottom line, we need "get out and play" initiatives of every shape, color and size. The Whites will come once the passion is ignited. And people like me can dream about a Test.

Posted by Jeff G on (June 12, 2007, 21:40 GMT)

How do people even get involved with sports administrations? Are they friends of friends, or what? It seems a cricket fan would want more promotion, but perhaps there is just not enough money to make it possible right now. As a 'young white American' with no foreign connections, I would loved to help with the controlling organizations to promote cricket to all Americans.

Posted by RAJ on (June 12, 2007, 21:38 GMT)

DAINTY!!!......DAINTY!!!.......DAINTY!!!.......Hear me folks......this guy is the biggest obstacle in the way of cricket viability in America....I was shocked a few years ago,to discover this was the character that was acceptable to the ICC for the stewardship, governance, growth, and advancement and growth of cricket in the USA, and into whose hands the ICC had entrusted the responsibility for the organization and progress of cricket in the USA.....How little do they know.....They haven't a clue that Dainty and his band of marauders have hijacked the USACA, and are intent on using it for their own personal aggrandizement...

Posted by Bilal Aslam on (June 12, 2007, 21:23 GMT)

I am current president of Mid Atlantic Cricket Conference (VA,NC,SC) and would like to comment on an important issue here. I am in direct contact with USACA officials recently and applaud them for all they are doing to restore USACA. We as league representatives have an important role to play. If we do not reach out and convey our concerns there is no way we will be heard. Mid Atlantic Cricket Conference(MACC) takes care of its own grounds and players volunteer to do work. We have to come up with an action plan for every region and be involved in the decision process. We should allow some time to USACA and see what type of action plan they have to promote cricket.

I am sure If they are spending time on conducting meetings and trying their best to restore it they are serious about this issue. Its not about West Indians, subcontinent or Aussies it is about cricket and cricket does not have any color or boundaries. Lets be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.

Posted by Colin T. Bent on (June 12, 2007, 17:40 GMT)

It is almost hilarious to see the comments on this issue. As a former conference and club president I saw the inner workings of the USACA and I am not at all surprised with the carryings on one bit. Our conference had a Canada vs USA game taken from us because we asked questions about the financial activities of the USACA and this after much planning and arrangements were done. After more than a decade of closeup involvement, I can safely say that US cricket will remain at the same level it is presently. I suggest that here is a lack of proper leadership and not many available who will lead the organization without selfish motives. If that person exists they have failed to come forward as of yet. I would encourage those of you who still play the game to enjoy it in your clubs and the conferences in which you compete and don't sit around looking for the US to play at any greater level of involvement than where it is right now. There are those who might contradict me but to them I say lets meet in another ten years and lets discuss it once again.

Posted by satram on (June 12, 2007, 17:17 GMT)

Let the people of USA decide what they want. ICC should appoint someone to look into the matter and report back. By giving WICB to handle the matter is foolishness. WICB is in a mess itself.

Posted by Chris G on (June 12, 2007, 16:43 GMT)

I play in a small League in Kansas City and I can tell you, there are plenty of cricketers in this country. The problem is that a) the administrators are not trying to promote the game beyond the "ex pats play on Sunday" news stories and b) there is a common misconception that only people from the Caribbean and the sub-continent play this game. Australia are the world champions and there are plenty of us Aussies in the States who play. There are a bunch of Brits and other nationalities as well. It's time to actively promote the game. Let's start by pressuring ESPN and others to actually SHOW the game they televise. Most Americans still DON'T KNOW what cricket is ..

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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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