USA June 25, 2007

The last last-chance saloon

The cricket world - or at least those running the game in countries from Australia to Zambia - assemble in London this week for their annual get-together
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The cricket world - or at least those running the game in countries from Australia to Zambia - assemble in London this week for their annual get-together. However, there will be a notable absentee. For the second time in three years, there will be no representation from the USA.

While the US might not be a major player on the field - it would probably rank just outside the top ten Associates if it ever managed to take to the field - but it does control one of the game's biggest and potentially most lucrative markets. It also is home to one of the most dysfunctional and unaccountable boards, the USA Cricket Association, and it is its ongoing shenanigans that have twice caused the ICC to suspend it from the international game.

A fortnight ago, in Washington, the two factions claiming to have the right to run the game in the USA met with Ken Gordon, the WICB's president, acting as peacemaker. The irony of Gordon, head of a board under fire from almost every side and millions of dollars in debt, being asked to sort out someone else's dirty linen caused more than a few wry smiles. But the two-day sit-down ended with a brief statement that the two sides had agreed to work together to resolve their problems.

The announcement was hardly a hold-the-front-page moment. For one thing, although there are thousands of players in the USA, and millions of fans, the USACA has almost no affect on anything they do. As one administrator told me, it could disappear tomorrow and nothing would change. The other issue is that both parties agreed not to say anything. To anyone.

Secrecy has been one of the major gripes against the USACA. It says almost nothing to anyone, and the tiny ruling group has been known to shut out its own directors if it sees fit. So while those who cared might have hoped that a deal would herald an era of transparency, they were instead given a familiar wall of silence.

The immediate reaction was here we go again. A decade ago the West Indies board, represented by Julian Hunte, sat down in New York with warring factions inside US cricket and reached a similar agreement. The USACA president since shortly after then has been Gladstone Dainty, a man of monosyllabic answers on the rare occasions he deigns to talk to the media. But despite all of the positive words, nothing changed. Elections were disputed, allegations of serious governance issues circulated, and a decade on, the running of the game continues to be a shambles that would disgrace a banana republic.

But the agreement reached on June 10 in Washington - for a new independent panel to review the much-maligned constitution and then for fresh elections before the end of the year - has to be given a chance. While there is every reason to suspect that nothing will change, the US has no choice but to wait and hope.

The independent panel - and it is that - should be in a position to hand down its findings within a couple of months. Unlike the heavily criticised and rushed election in February, the next ones, set for November, should be open and above suspicion.

For the time being the stakeholders have to trust Dainty - although they have a million reasons not to - and rely on him to deliver what he and others have promised. The time to deliver a verdict on his achievements will be in November when, by all rights, he will be sent packing

One of the main failings of the USACA is that it appears to operate under the grossly misguided belief that the international cricketing community needs it more than it needs them. While the dollars available from staging third-party matches in the US is a lure, that can be done without involving the USACA if push comes to shove.

The ICC is weary with the antics of a cricketing small fry. It has tried to help but by asking the WICB to act as broker it has probably offered its final olive branch. Much is at stake. Aside from funding from the international coffers, if the US stays suspended then the national team cannot play at any level. There is also the small matter of the pending Centrex deal relating to marketing cricket and staging international matches in the USA. If that goes through then it could bring millions into the game. But it relies on a credible and transparent board. The lack of that already scuppered Project USA.

So the next six months is make-or-break for US cricket. For the last time, stakeholders have to keep fingers crossed and hope that, finally, Dainty and his associates do the right thing and act in the interests of the game. There is every reason to doubt they will, only this time if they get it wrong, there may be no way back.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • josh gibson on July 3, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    Why don't the USA players and management go to US schools and have coaching clinics then maybe they might be good. most of the team is foreign and i think that they are heading down the wrong track.

  • Paul Ward on July 2, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    I have been involved in cricket in Arizona for over 15 years, first as a player, then as an umpire, team manager, league secretary and chairman. During that time, the Arizona Cricket Association has grown from four teams to sixteen and has participated in, and hosted touring teams from, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Philadelphia and Utah. All of this has been WITHOUT the support of the USA Cricket Association which has provided absolutely ZERO help.

    However, let’s face the facts: Cricket is growing in the USA, but in almost all cases it’s due to the influx of immigrants from other cricket playing nations. The good news is that this influx is expected to continue as more professionals make their homes here. There are many cases of cricket being spread among our schools and I have personally witnessed the beginnings of sons (not daughters yet, I regret to report) of players who are coming into the game.

    The best thing for the future of cricket in the USA as a whole is for the ICC to investigate in-depth where the strength of cricket in this nation is - which is at the State and/or Regional (sub-state) level. Once that strength is confirmed, then the ICC should BYPASS the ineffectual USACA and establish an ICC governing board whose goal it will be to nurture this level of cricket.

    We do not expect the ICC to do everything for us. But please provide us with more visibility during our negotiations with Cities and Towns, their Parks and Recreation Boards and the Mayors and Councils that give these boards their direction. Help provide us with the ability to purchase solid liability insurance (without being beholden to the ineffectual USACA).

    Please DON’T give a pile of money to a bunch of self-serving individuals under the guise of organizing a national team. Such a team will, eventually develop when the USA National Government decides to support it. That is never going to happen with the current crop at the USACA in charge.

    There are many instances of State and Regional organizations that are helping grow cricket – just look at the forthcoming L.A. Open, July 13-15. Teams, leagues and tournaments are already happening, but they will become stronger and the level of cricket will increase as facilities get built and personnel re-enter the game as supporters and spectators. Eventually, players will turn into coaches, grounds-keepers, umpires, team and league organizers, secretaries, chairmen and presidents and so on. Then, maybe, we can worry about competing at the international level.

    The naysayers (even some of those on this very page) know the truth. It will happen but, to borrow an analogy from the movie “Being There”, it is first necessary to water the roots, for the garden to flourish. The roots are at the State and Regional level. Unfortunately, as far as the current USACA is concerned, it is also necessary to do some weeding.

  • Texan on June 28, 2007, 15:47 GMT

    It is heartening to see so much interest in cricket in USA. I have played cricket since my arrival in this country in 1974. In Houston we started with one team in 1975 and now we have about 32 teams. I also got involved in organizing the league and running it. Houston Cricket League is one of the premier league in country and it is run very well by volunteers. I do not see any problem of racism or nationality favoritism here. We have great administrators from India, Pakistan, West Indies, Australia, England and Zimbabwe to name a few. I do not know anything about other regions but we have very good working relations with players from all ethnic backgrounds. Like some people from NY area criticized West Indians, which is not fair. I have known many great dedicated West Indian cricketers and administrator who have done great job to promote cricket in USA. Because of few bad apples we can not criticize the whole community. Yes USACA has been run by few of those bad apples but every cricket loving person wants to do a good job and like Martin Williamson said in this article that next six month is very crucial. We have promoted youth in Central West and all the four leagues in CW-Houston, Dallas, Austin and Colorado have many dedicated administrators who have done excellent job even with out getting any support from USACA. Austin has a great youth program, in Houston we have gone to different schools to demonstrate cricket to American kids and many kids enjoyed it and some of the teachers have asked us to come back again. We hope to expand that program in the coming year try to get some school district to introduce cricket as an option in PE Class. If any one has any good ideas and how to do it, let us know. As for USACA, I will ask all the concerned cricketers to be vigilant during next six months and try to get right people elected from your leagues and regions when the elctions come around. Specially people in New York region, New Jercey,Washinton DC, Philadelphia, Florida and Central East-Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota and Michigan. North East have some good administrator and they need to keep track up there. People in Atlanta-Ga, North Carolina also needs to send right people. Spread the word and elect the best people who care for cricket. In Houston some of the teams spend great amount of time and money to promote cricket and that starts with the making great cricket fields. Our club has spent over $40,000 to make a ground on the land own by Gujarati Samaj and we are working with Gujarati Samaj to build a $3-4 Million Community Center on same property so cricket will be part of our future community activity. Do not give up just try harder and do your best for the game you love the most.

  • Kingsley Pearce on June 28, 2007, 13:22 GMT

    Cricket in the US cannot compete with baseball but it can be a significant player in international cricket.

    Population and wealth alone tells us that it can be done but as has been mentioned cricket in the US is very secretive. In fact I often joke that the US Cricket Association is almost a secret society and participation is by invitation only.

    Here in Rochester New York it is almost impossible to find out when games are being played. Emails and phone calls to the USACA offering to volunteer and help go unanswered.

    There are so many people here in the US playing the game and wanting to watch it. If Lacrosse and Ice Hockey can be mainstream sports covered by cable and sattelite then so can cricket.

    Don't ever lose hope.

  • George on June 28, 2007, 11:50 GMT

    In most American sports the outcome is known withing a couple of hours sometimes less. To entertain a game where after five days, lunches, water breaks and tea times you still have no decision is not appealing. The short version 20/20 perhaps will have a chance if marketed properly.

  • david on June 28, 2007, 2:41 GMT

    The USA, like Canada have similar problems faced by the West Indies, everybody wants to govern cricket, but it's worse since people from all over the cricketing world live in the USA and they all want to stake their claim.

  • Sohail S on June 27, 2007, 16:00 GMT

    What we need is someone with credentials being given the mandate by the ICC to run cricket here. It would be nice to say outsource the entire operation to an IMG so they can promote and build cricket up from the grassroots, and reap the benefits when they do arrive.

    This is a country that helps hundreds of startups survive and grow. I cannot see why it is difficult to get rid of all the factions that lay claim to running cricket here and give it to a Professional Organization run by real managers and cricketing visionaries.

  • Soumitro Chowdhury on June 27, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    No, in USA no tournaments should be held where Australia and India will play, as suggested by Mr. Vivek. Because India will be thrashed very badly by Australia in every match and the matches will be too dull. That will not do any good for promoting cricket in USA. I don't expect any good show from the Indian team as they had a humiliating defeat against Bangladesh in the last world cup.Yes, twenty20 cricket is the only way to promote cricket in USA. ICC should arrange regular twenty 20 cricket tournaments with quality teams like Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England.

  • Rick on June 27, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    In 1979-80 a Barbadian cricketer named Grantly Riley started a cricket program for youngsters in Manhattan through PAL and there was quite a good response from the youth and two schools in the Bronx He even had a demonstration game by the youngsters on 5th Ave. in Manhattan and I saw a large number of people stopping to watch,with interest in the game .so I agree with the gentleman who suggested to introduce it in the Elementary schools I believe cricket will take root if the West Indians in this country could muster the courage to get past the insularity that now prevails among the leaders of cricket in this country

  • Trevor Chesterfield on June 27, 2007, 5:14 GMT

    It's seventeen months since the last youth World Cup in Sri Lanka when the USA were represented by a group of talented players that were part of the future of the game in that country. What has happened since? Dainty Gladstone and his robber baron cronies have robbed them of their heritage and future and sacrificed the path of future youth pro grammes through selfish indulgences thar has allowed their egos to get in the way of the sports progress. The ICC have more than enough concerns and this dysfunctionally ruining the sport in the USA should remember also that since admitted as an associate member in 1965, the game has gone backwards because of cronyism and robber baron policies. After a century South Africa were able to get their act together, but the ICC cannot wait for the USA to sort out their mess. It's time the ICC placed the game in the hands of its own hand-picked committee and run the game from Dubai. It can't get any worse. Trevor Chesterfield

  • josh gibson on July 3, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    Why don't the USA players and management go to US schools and have coaching clinics then maybe they might be good. most of the team is foreign and i think that they are heading down the wrong track.

  • Paul Ward on July 2, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    I have been involved in cricket in Arizona for over 15 years, first as a player, then as an umpire, team manager, league secretary and chairman. During that time, the Arizona Cricket Association has grown from four teams to sixteen and has participated in, and hosted touring teams from, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Philadelphia and Utah. All of this has been WITHOUT the support of the USA Cricket Association which has provided absolutely ZERO help.

    However, let’s face the facts: Cricket is growing in the USA, but in almost all cases it’s due to the influx of immigrants from other cricket playing nations. The good news is that this influx is expected to continue as more professionals make their homes here. There are many cases of cricket being spread among our schools and I have personally witnessed the beginnings of sons (not daughters yet, I regret to report) of players who are coming into the game.

    The best thing for the future of cricket in the USA as a whole is for the ICC to investigate in-depth where the strength of cricket in this nation is - which is at the State and/or Regional (sub-state) level. Once that strength is confirmed, then the ICC should BYPASS the ineffectual USACA and establish an ICC governing board whose goal it will be to nurture this level of cricket.

    We do not expect the ICC to do everything for us. But please provide us with more visibility during our negotiations with Cities and Towns, their Parks and Recreation Boards and the Mayors and Councils that give these boards their direction. Help provide us with the ability to purchase solid liability insurance (without being beholden to the ineffectual USACA).

    Please DON’T give a pile of money to a bunch of self-serving individuals under the guise of organizing a national team. Such a team will, eventually develop when the USA National Government decides to support it. That is never going to happen with the current crop at the USACA in charge.

    There are many instances of State and Regional organizations that are helping grow cricket – just look at the forthcoming L.A. Open, July 13-15. Teams, leagues and tournaments are already happening, but they will become stronger and the level of cricket will increase as facilities get built and personnel re-enter the game as supporters and spectators. Eventually, players will turn into coaches, grounds-keepers, umpires, team and league organizers, secretaries, chairmen and presidents and so on. Then, maybe, we can worry about competing at the international level.

    The naysayers (even some of those on this very page) know the truth. It will happen but, to borrow an analogy from the movie “Being There”, it is first necessary to water the roots, for the garden to flourish. The roots are at the State and Regional level. Unfortunately, as far as the current USACA is concerned, it is also necessary to do some weeding.

  • Texan on June 28, 2007, 15:47 GMT

    It is heartening to see so much interest in cricket in USA. I have played cricket since my arrival in this country in 1974. In Houston we started with one team in 1975 and now we have about 32 teams. I also got involved in organizing the league and running it. Houston Cricket League is one of the premier league in country and it is run very well by volunteers. I do not see any problem of racism or nationality favoritism here. We have great administrators from India, Pakistan, West Indies, Australia, England and Zimbabwe to name a few. I do not know anything about other regions but we have very good working relations with players from all ethnic backgrounds. Like some people from NY area criticized West Indians, which is not fair. I have known many great dedicated West Indian cricketers and administrator who have done great job to promote cricket in USA. Because of few bad apples we can not criticize the whole community. Yes USACA has been run by few of those bad apples but every cricket loving person wants to do a good job and like Martin Williamson said in this article that next six month is very crucial. We have promoted youth in Central West and all the four leagues in CW-Houston, Dallas, Austin and Colorado have many dedicated administrators who have done excellent job even with out getting any support from USACA. Austin has a great youth program, in Houston we have gone to different schools to demonstrate cricket to American kids and many kids enjoyed it and some of the teachers have asked us to come back again. We hope to expand that program in the coming year try to get some school district to introduce cricket as an option in PE Class. If any one has any good ideas and how to do it, let us know. As for USACA, I will ask all the concerned cricketers to be vigilant during next six months and try to get right people elected from your leagues and regions when the elctions come around. Specially people in New York region, New Jercey,Washinton DC, Philadelphia, Florida and Central East-Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota and Michigan. North East have some good administrator and they need to keep track up there. People in Atlanta-Ga, North Carolina also needs to send right people. Spread the word and elect the best people who care for cricket. In Houston some of the teams spend great amount of time and money to promote cricket and that starts with the making great cricket fields. Our club has spent over $40,000 to make a ground on the land own by Gujarati Samaj and we are working with Gujarati Samaj to build a $3-4 Million Community Center on same property so cricket will be part of our future community activity. Do not give up just try harder and do your best for the game you love the most.

  • Kingsley Pearce on June 28, 2007, 13:22 GMT

    Cricket in the US cannot compete with baseball but it can be a significant player in international cricket.

    Population and wealth alone tells us that it can be done but as has been mentioned cricket in the US is very secretive. In fact I often joke that the US Cricket Association is almost a secret society and participation is by invitation only.

    Here in Rochester New York it is almost impossible to find out when games are being played. Emails and phone calls to the USACA offering to volunteer and help go unanswered.

    There are so many people here in the US playing the game and wanting to watch it. If Lacrosse and Ice Hockey can be mainstream sports covered by cable and sattelite then so can cricket.

    Don't ever lose hope.

  • George on June 28, 2007, 11:50 GMT

    In most American sports the outcome is known withing a couple of hours sometimes less. To entertain a game where after five days, lunches, water breaks and tea times you still have no decision is not appealing. The short version 20/20 perhaps will have a chance if marketed properly.

  • david on June 28, 2007, 2:41 GMT

    The USA, like Canada have similar problems faced by the West Indies, everybody wants to govern cricket, but it's worse since people from all over the cricketing world live in the USA and they all want to stake their claim.

  • Sohail S on June 27, 2007, 16:00 GMT

    What we need is someone with credentials being given the mandate by the ICC to run cricket here. It would be nice to say outsource the entire operation to an IMG so they can promote and build cricket up from the grassroots, and reap the benefits when they do arrive.

    This is a country that helps hundreds of startups survive and grow. I cannot see why it is difficult to get rid of all the factions that lay claim to running cricket here and give it to a Professional Organization run by real managers and cricketing visionaries.

  • Soumitro Chowdhury on June 27, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    No, in USA no tournaments should be held where Australia and India will play, as suggested by Mr. Vivek. Because India will be thrashed very badly by Australia in every match and the matches will be too dull. That will not do any good for promoting cricket in USA. I don't expect any good show from the Indian team as they had a humiliating defeat against Bangladesh in the last world cup.Yes, twenty20 cricket is the only way to promote cricket in USA. ICC should arrange regular twenty 20 cricket tournaments with quality teams like Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England.

  • Rick on June 27, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    In 1979-80 a Barbadian cricketer named Grantly Riley started a cricket program for youngsters in Manhattan through PAL and there was quite a good response from the youth and two schools in the Bronx He even had a demonstration game by the youngsters on 5th Ave. in Manhattan and I saw a large number of people stopping to watch,with interest in the game .so I agree with the gentleman who suggested to introduce it in the Elementary schools I believe cricket will take root if the West Indians in this country could muster the courage to get past the insularity that now prevails among the leaders of cricket in this country

  • Trevor Chesterfield on June 27, 2007, 5:14 GMT

    It's seventeen months since the last youth World Cup in Sri Lanka when the USA were represented by a group of talented players that were part of the future of the game in that country. What has happened since? Dainty Gladstone and his robber baron cronies have robbed them of their heritage and future and sacrificed the path of future youth pro grammes through selfish indulgences thar has allowed their egos to get in the way of the sports progress. The ICC have more than enough concerns and this dysfunctionally ruining the sport in the USA should remember also that since admitted as an associate member in 1965, the game has gone backwards because of cronyism and robber baron policies. After a century South Africa were able to get their act together, but the ICC cannot wait for the USA to sort out their mess. It's time the ICC placed the game in the hands of its own hand-picked committee and run the game from Dubai. It can't get any worse. Trevor Chesterfield

  • Jdav967 on June 27, 2007, 1:16 GMT

    Maybe if they introduced an international draft system, so inviting star players from overseas to play, like they do with AFL and soccer, something will happen.

  • Yawdbwoy on June 27, 2007, 0:46 GMT

    If USA wants cricket to succeed then it needs to be shown on networks such as ESPN just like they do for soccer. I thought I read somewhere that ESPN had bought Cricinfo. This would be a step in the right direction in getting some air time for cricket and get the youngsters interested.

  • D . Brown on June 27, 2007, 0:16 GMT

    the US cricket can become a major sport here, but we need administrator who love the game and wants to promote the game in the right way. I remember in 1993 to about 1998 New York cricket region was buzzing with cricket fever. Every local politician wants to be a part of the activity. There was a Young man by the name of Austin Hutchinson was doing a lot for the game, the red stripe cup cricket was the talk of the city, every park used to be so crowded on week end. people use to bring there children to the parks watch the games on week end. I remember All The Caribbean, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh was represented in that tournament we need more tournament like that with strong promotion all across the nation. I think that tournament was the biggest and best cricket tournament that i have ever see or hear about in the USA. we need to get more Cricket administrator like Hutchinson to help with USACA cricket.

  • dan b on June 27, 2007, 0:15 GMT

    The local sides in my area (and for upstate NY we are fortunate to have several active clubs) seem to engage a number of younger players as well as older ones, and the times I have come out to matches you really feel an atmosphere. It's not for lack of effort, at least on the grassroots level where I'm living. But a lot of what I've read in the comments read true - how is a talented local player to have the opportunity to grow upward? Who is telling them where to work out and move up in the ranks?

    I hate to make comparisons but having been an active curler for many years I think that that sport provides an excellent model for what US cricket could be. We have a lot of curlers in the US, and they have been reasonably successful in recent years because the national organizing body connects with EVERY club around the nation. They organize clinics; they give sponsorship to the teams where they can; they use whatever outside resources are available to get funding (the USOC, in particular). It can work. Curling will never compete with football or NASCAR but they have a successful model with people who are mostly part-time players. It can't really be so hard for the USACA to create such a model, can it?

    Then again, nothing out of the USACA shocks me now. Hell, Zimbabwe keeps flush with ICC dollars and our national body can't even send a representative to the ICC meeting. It's frustrating, and it doesn't seem to have much chance of changing any time soon.

  • Ali on June 26, 2007, 23:45 GMT

    ICC would only come to rescue if the USACA assures to work hard to promote the game. It is not only ICC's duty, but both ICC and the cricket governing body in the US to work together for the future of the game. The leagues are already playing but the standard is below par. There are no proper grounds and umpiring at times is very unreliable. The natives would show interest in the game but due to lack of exposure, they would remain clueless. People cannot afford to spend money to watch cricket on Dish or Cable and the ICC's recent ban on cricket on youtube or google(only other sources) has shut the doors for viewers. Good luck cricket

  • Nick B.Hinds on June 26, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    I appreciate the need to expand the game from its traditional base of countries. I played and promoted cricket in Latin America over several years and saw the great work that many enthusiastic expats do to bring the game to new frontiers. There is so much work involved in doing this: teaching cricket in schools, finding a suitable playing area and preparing a pitch, familiarizing people with the myriad of rules - try explaining the LBW law for example. It is a daunting and often thankless task.

    But I am very ambivalent about trying to promote cricket, the game I love so much, in the US. I try not to hold the notion that it's "our" game, and "let the yanks keep their baseball and gridiron", but I feel that if the US were to adopt cricket they would soon dominate it monetarily and consequentially bastardize it or change it beyond recognition. I fear there would be "franchise teams" instead of clubs, there would be finger-wagging in-your-face arguing with umpire's decisions, petulant millionaire players (moreso than now!) and other things the game can do without. Promote and expand the worldwide cricket fraternity by all means, but let's celebrate what is different and unique about cricket. I think there is much more potential and value-for-money by supporting the game in places such as Ireland, Scotland, Bermuda, Argentina, Chile, Kenya, Uganda and Papua New Guinea, where locals are already involved at grassroots levels, and also in shoring up the game where playing and administrative standards have been eroded such as in the West Indies and Zimbabwe. Cricket has thrived for over 100 years without the US, why throw millions of dollars at them now when the resources could be better spent in so many other deserving places?

    American 'culture' is so ubiquitous and pervasive in so many other areas of our lives, it's nice to have a sport they know jack all about, especially my sport.

  • Navindra on June 26, 2007, 21:08 GMT

    Ok, cricket cannot go nowhere in the USA. Reason #1. Leagues are not promoting the youths. Last Sunday I went to watch a game between two leagues in NY and a league that claims to promote youths field a team with 2 players under the age of 30, the Nassau cricket league. Promote the youths not the old. These guys are playing because they know somebody. Furthermore, the said league has a bunch of talented youngsters. I over heard one player saying the playing for $5000. The way I see it is that they looking to make the $5000 today and giving up the youths who will provide them will a million tomorrow.

  • An American on June 26, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    One of the biggest myth that cricket freternity has about USA is "but it does control one of the game's biggest and potentially most lucrative markets." People must realize that US economy may be strong for American sports, and not for the sport which is confined to the immigrant community. Majority of the players who play cricket within the Metropolitan New York area are either blue collar workers or are has no legal status in the USA. For now the intellectual players of US Cricket (IT workers)they are too money oriented (making and not spending), who will think twice about spending one dollar on a cup of coffee, what makes the rest of the world think that they will pay $100 for a cricket match? And now for the administrators, I am a committee member for one of the oldest (1872) and continuous playing cricket club in America. My club belongs to one of the highly competitive league in New York Metropolitan area. Each time a League meetings have been held, the professionalism of the the League administrators is such that each meetings on the average is late by 2 hours. Once the meeting commences, the atmosphere is that of a kindergarten, where the President is playing the role of the headmaster with a yard stick trying to silence all his pupils/critics. When this reaches a national level (USACA) the scenario gives a picture of a south central LA when it was controlled by a various gangs. USACA meetings are marred by the fractions of different gangs, Indians, Pakistanis and the West Indians, in which West Indians are considered the most fearsome. West Indian gang has gangs within them, Guayana, Trinidadians, Jamaicans etc. Cricket can only make money in the USA only if India, Pakistan or West Indies plays and these games are not governed by USACA.

  • madmax on June 26, 2007, 20:31 GMT

    So many comments and the post is not even a day old.. This shows the interest of the people of US in this game, and hopefully we will see some significant change in the coming years in spite of the prevailing negative attitude..

  • AN Khan on June 26, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    Major elements within USACA that control decision making are of Caribbean/West Indian and Indian subcontinent background. Politics and love for money is so prevalent within this circle that it is impossible for most of them to see through this fog. I do not believe that all of them are bad or corrupt, but as a fan of cricket, I have been hoping against hope for the past several years that some good will come out of USACA. I believe that the time has come for ICC to give an ultimatum to these power/money hungry, and the so-called representatives of USACA to get their act together or to get out of the way. If there is no agreement within the next 90-day ultimatum period then ICC should appoint its own USA Cricket Committee consisting of a member from all test nations. All ICC has to do is to register this entity as a legal entity for or not for profit corporation anywhere in the US. I am sure that this will bring some much needed attention to these morons.

  • hard2handle on June 26, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    I am also an American who got involved in Cricket and gave my heart and soul to help out and get something going..But I have had enough and once I found about an adult Lacrosse league as well as tons of volunteers who help kids learn and play the game, Cricket took a back seat. Just can't dedicate 8-10 hours on the weekend for a game of cricket with absolutely no one interested in playing a 20/20 match. Not to mention traveling 2 hours each way just to get to the field sometimes. It's simple, the current leadership needs to involve Americans and needs to adopt the 20/20 format. It's pathetic that Lacrosse was no different that Cricket and it has grown to be a huge sport with today's youths. The USA Cricket needs to follow the exact game plan that Lacrosse has but I doubt it will happen. I would go back to Cricket in a heartbeat if they start getting things right but I have given up and am totally embarassed by the current leadership. They have taken all of my enthusiasm and enjoyment out of the game I loved so dearly.

  • Ravinder Khakh on June 26, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    people think to yourself "how was I introduced to the sport, what made me play cricket", personally for me it was watching the game on TV when I was little, I knew nothing about the game and I was never able to watch it for more than 15 minutes at a time, but then something magical happened, it was Shoaib Akhtar running in and letting a few go at around 98 mph, the batsman was hopping around and finally, FINALLY his off stump was cartwheeling towards the wicketkeeper, I saw shoaib spreading his arms out and taking off like a jet, Right there at the moment I said to myself "no basketball game, no baseball game, no football game (American football), no ice hockey game, no golf, no no nothing, no sport on the planet can ever match that, that was the moment I decided to become a fast bowler, and now at the level I play at I do to batsmen exactly what Shoaib did then.

    So people until the bosses of cricket are thinking money, the game will not spread, until they really start thinking about the future of cricket I see no hope for cricket anywhere but wherever it already is, c'mon ICC lets televise some free games to non test countries, lets expose cricket to the world, there are a lot of countries where people only have access to just one channel, lets force them to watch cricket, I will go as far as saying "pay that one channel to air cricket" and the thing is it wont take a lot of money to do it. I know I am just shouting at the ocean and there will never be any echoes, cricket I am sorry I couldn't do more for you.

  • Steve on June 26, 2007, 18:18 GMT

    With huge numbers of ex-patriots living in the U.S. from cricket-mad nations, there's no reason the sport shouldn't continue to grow here. If it grows, and top class cricket is played on American grass, then even youngsters here will take interest. Nobody ever said it needs to compete with baseball, basketball, football, and Nascar. But it can certainly attract attention and talent, and the U.S. is a big enough country to field a test team, if our cricket authorities can get it right. Which is a tough ask, based on everything we've seen so far. Everyone says the strength of U.S. cricket is in the local leagues, so the obvious way forward is in a more-democratic process, where the national board would make decisions to benefit the localities.

    It's not hopeless, though. Thinking as much is akin to giving the current board free reign to further ruin U.S. cricket.

  • Cricket Fan on June 26, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    We can all agree that USACA is full of bull with a dictator at helm. Most of our administrators are from third world countries and with that comes third world politics. It all whats in for me mentality.

    But there is hope, leagues around the country should look at the example set by administration of Southern California Cricket Association. We have the best ground in the country. One of the better youth program and support for our political leaders. Sponsor of the only elite 20/20 tournament in US!!!!!!! Cricket is on the move in SoCal. Give our guys like Reddy and Dr Rai to run USACA and sit back and witness progress.

  • powan in ny on June 26, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    US cricket, it can make it, but with the right people in the right positions. i think if the two parties want to argue on decisions well go ahead don't bring the whole country down because you don't know what your doing and have conflicts. I have been playing in America since i was 8 years old. I am born American. Yes the selectors in USA have problems they only look at name brand players that's good but i am sure there a lot of other players in the country that can play make more than one team, make twenty teams. Our league is the biggest league in the country so don't tell me how it can't get done, nothing is impossible. I have property now that can help the USA build a stadium, but who wants to listen. I hope we can take a turn for the best, not only for us but for the future of cricket for children in this country. Thanks

  • d on June 26, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    What annoys me is that the ICC is so interested in developing cricket in big countries like the USA and China while ignoring the teams with real potential like Scotland, Holland and Ireland.

  • Nick on June 26, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    Hi all. I have read a few of the comments made about cricket in the USA. Firstly I must say that indeed the USA could be the most lucrative market for the ICC. However one has to remember that the ICC only wants to see a well ran USACA, it's not that the ICC does not want to spend the money in the USA but why should they give money out to administrators who are incompetent. Will cricket ever catch on in the USA? Yes it most certainly will but, in order for that to happen you must have a functioning board who has the confidence of it's directors and players alike. Yes the USACA may have tarnished it's reputation but there is still some time for them patch things up among themselves and create an atmosphere that breeds success. It is time that people in the USACA put their petty differences behind them and move forward for the sake of so many gifted and talented cricketers across the USA. The sad thing about the USACA is that many of the members of the board are of West Indian background, and if we use the current WICB as an example... need i say more? There needs to be changes on the USACA and more past players should have a say, form a committee that has past international cricketers on it, make them part of the board let them also have a say with respect to the development of the game. It's time to look past "a good wealthy businessman must be the head of our administration" he may have been successful in his business but that does not mean he will do same for cricket. There are many cricketers in the USA with knowledge of the game and could be excellent administrators if only given an opportunity. So while the ball is in the court for USACA it would be to their benefit if they play like the Spurs and not the Lakers (one man team). I wish you all the very best. Thanks for reading.

  • joel varghese on June 26, 2007, 14:56 GMT

    I stay in Philadelphia,and am a major fan of cricket.I even thought of it as a profession,but to my dismay,there are only a few leagues that play the game,and one reputed college that has cricket in their curriculumn (Harvard) .If cricket has to work in the US ,ICC must sponsor games between the states,or maybe even tournaments.They must create an interest among the public,and also prove business giants that cricket is an economically advantageous game as well.Thus more sponsors for the game.With more sponsors ,any game can flourish! Any game needs interest,and that interest is already present in USA...thus the base is formed.Now all i can say is that,USA cricket is in the hands of the ICC and how they go about!

  • Sushant Pradhan on June 26, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    I Completely see no hope the way U.S cricket is going i play for the Eastern American League and thats a joke. We play for fun most of me and my friends and when we meet up with the officials of the league its a joke. They are in the much worse state than West Indies. There is lot of politics and people change the scorecards to promote their other players and the umpires forget about them they dont even know how to give a right decision especailly if its against non west indian players cause thats the majority of players in the U.S. Its really sad cause i love this game and the fact there is no fairness for the coming youngster and no good planning there will be no way how this sport can excel. I really beleive that there should be a very good domestic setup and then from there you should plan to go for the international level. I cant see any hope until and unless people in the U.S beleive about fairness in these so called leagues for now its me and my friends so go there to have fun and its not that we suck in our league we had to forfeit the last match because of ridiculous umpiring just because Reon King the former west indian bowler was playing for the other team i faced him but the wickets he got in the game was utter crap. The umpire raised his finger to an LBW decision when the bowler or any of the fielders didnt even appeal to and that ball was completly missing leg stump cause i was at the non strikers end looking at that. Its little stuff like this that makes it sad and will never make cricket in the U.S excel and will never be better in the West Indies.

  • Joel on June 26, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    I dont think the americans can appreciate a game that requires a lot of time to get to a result, as they are largely interested in the "quick fix" sort of entertainment. that is not to say that there arent interested parties, but they are likely to be expats or their descendants, or scattered Ivy league sporting societies. Americans as a whole consider cricket as a complicated game of the english and couldnt be bothered to find out about it because they feel they would be betraying their own sports of baseball (an ENGISH invented game by the way) and that bastardisation of rugby they call "football". And for those who think 20/20 will take off there as it is shorter and more exciting, consider the experiment of (real) football. it was introduced by a certain Mr Pele more than 30 years ago, but the average american would not be able to name more than one world class footballer (Beckham having been made famous more for his celebrity than his profession). So, no, I dont think cricket will ever work in the USA, their minds already being closed against it. However, cast your minds to the other side of the world where the FUTURE economic superpower is starting to flex its muscles. China is the way forward, people. Stop wasting time and money on a fading dream and wake up and smell the tea.

  • Duke on June 26, 2007, 13:19 GMT

    As about the only "native-born" American I know who follows cricket, I'm saddened to see the state of the sport in my own country. The administration is so far down a hole I don't ever see it getting out.

    Some time ago I was working on an article about modern cricket in America. I had to give up in some disgust because of what I heard "off the record" from a number of people close to the game. In a nutshell there is a lot of racism in the top levels of the administration and in the local game. Of course there is a lot of political wrangling too (I spoke to more than one person who wanted to and were eminently qualified to be involved who were shut out of the process due to petty political concerns) but it's the racism that is really killing the sport in the US. I experienced some of it first hand when I was playing in clubs here myself. It's really the elephant in the corner with regards to US cricket. Everyone knows it's there but nobody wants to talk about it. At least one person I spoke to thought racism was the real reason Project USA didn't work (he actually said that the man leading the project was an "outsider", but it's clear what he meant).

    When I talk to people here about cricket and show them what it's about there's interest--not a lot of interest, but some. The US is a big place and we don't need everybody interested in cricket, just a few. If CricInfo's new owners, ESPN, can show professional rodeo or indoor lacrosse and make a profit off that, how could cricket, which must have more fans even now, fail to make a profit? They've got to show some initiative. Otherwise, the sport's going to die in the US, again. When I talked to the kids of the immigrants who play in the US, they don't want to play cricket, they want to play basketball or soccer or American football, because that's what their "native" friends play and that's what they see on TV. If that trend doesn't change soon, the US could be lost forever as a potential cricketing country. It's time to act now.

  • mohammad zaman on June 26, 2007, 12:48 GMT

    include me in USA cricket team and i will show my potential, i liv in Madison, WI and i can really deliver the goods.......

  • Ian on June 26, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    USA has things on the uprise for cricket...as we speak, there is a training/practice going on for a tournament being held in Hartford,CT for the under-19 regionals. my brother is among one of the players on the squad for the Southeast region, so the USACA is developing in the right direction...pushing forth the younger players and developing them correctly. the USA will pick up as a cricketing nation, it just takes time, effort, and the SUPPORT by the cricketing fans in America. The tournament i speak of is being held the 6th, 7th, & 8th of July.

  • Jeremy Nirmal on June 26, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    Cricket in the USA appeared to be making some progress when they Announced the ProCricket League in 2004. The Cricket league was a 20 over match which meant people could come by after work to check out the games. I went to a game and the problem though that I noticed was that no one was at the games and this meant no more cricket since. This was despite the fact that it cost only $5 to get in!! There are tons of cricket hungry fans in certain pockets of the country like NY-NJ, California and Texas. The USACA has no concern for these people as money and pride seem to be more important.

    Most people in the US would agree with me that the TV folks are slowly doing their bit. The fact that the world cup cost $100 less than the '03 onw and was available on 2 different TV providers proves that the market for cricket is constantly growing.

    Cricket does have the potential to become as big as Football (Soccer) which is all the game needs in this country. The longer the USACA takes to get cricket out to Public schools in the 3 regions that I had mentioned, the less likely it is for Cricket to grow. They need to start at the Elementary school level. The reason for this is that cricket is one of those sports which if you dont watch or play it from a very young age you will most likely never be interested in it.

    The USACA needs to target people from the 20-30 year old generation in order to spread cricket. These are the people who are moving to different regions of the Continent and will be able to spread cricket to regions where Professional sports are not as big. This might give some hope for cricket in the USA by the time the World Cup rolls around in 2019 across the Atlantic.

    Setting up tournaments with neighbouring countries will not work. The USA needs to start by staging ind-pak-windies-aus matches across the nation similar to the way European Football clubs do in the summer. These 4 teams will be able to spread the game and these players can help by visiting the major local teams in order to give players tips. This will bring hope for the young cricketers in the US leagues and maybe they will consider cricket as a future. That though seems a long way off looking at the current board.

  • Jdav967 on June 26, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    It would be a shame to see them go. They played both their 2004 ODIs against superpowers. I agree with Stuart Raw. Try out a Twenty20, and see what happens, or run an ad campaign. There is still hope.

  • stuart raw on June 26, 2007, 7:09 GMT

    set up a USA 2020 tournament with Canada and the West Indies involved going around the major sites. see if that makes people interested.

  • Michael Fernando on June 26, 2007, 2:43 GMT

    Cricket in the US will never catch-on for two reasons:

    One: ICC is so money hungry, they are not willing to give low-cost TV broadcasts to the US cable companies to be carried over "basic cable." Without that free TV exposure to the general American public, people in this country will never seriously consider cricket as an entertaining game. It will always be that "confusing game played over days and days with lunch and tea breaks ."

    More importantly, the reason number two is, no one is making the effort to take the game beyond the expat communities. For cricket to become a sport played, followed and enjoyed by the US public, kids--just regular neighborhood kids--must play the game. For that to happen, kids need to see the game being played; and kids need to aspire to become good cricket players. For them to look up to and wanting to be next Ricky or Kevin or Sachin ... they need to talk about the game in the classrooms, hallways, in cul-de-sacs, etc. In other words, the at least in high-school levels, there must be cricket rivalries between schools. They need to look forward to the next match. They need to dream of being the batsman scoring the winning four in next year's "Big Match."

    If ICC wants cricket to really spread in the US, it should spend some money to create the buzz in several major cities in the US. Put enough money until the artificially created rivalries take root. Once buzz is created among school kids, and the rivalry is hyped by the local media, it will generate the next generation of players. If the US cricket relies only on the expat communities, it will never become a major sport.

    It is sad because finally the sport has a version that the American public can love; the 20/20 version.

  • Michael Perera on June 26, 2007, 0:55 GMT

    Touching sentiment, but knowing that cricket will never, ever take hold in the United States, I cannot imagine the administrators of American cricket are in much of a hurry to make things happen.

  • Vivek on June 25, 2007, 23:42 GMT

    I really don't see much success for USA as a cricketing nation. What i would much rather see a TV deal in which bigwigs like ESPN at least telecast the major tournament like the World Cup and the Champions trophy and have countries like Australia and India play 3 match series every year. That would satisfy me i will be there for all the games.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Vivek on June 25, 2007, 23:42 GMT

    I really don't see much success for USA as a cricketing nation. What i would much rather see a TV deal in which bigwigs like ESPN at least telecast the major tournament like the World Cup and the Champions trophy and have countries like Australia and India play 3 match series every year. That would satisfy me i will be there for all the games.

  • Michael Perera on June 26, 2007, 0:55 GMT

    Touching sentiment, but knowing that cricket will never, ever take hold in the United States, I cannot imagine the administrators of American cricket are in much of a hurry to make things happen.

  • Michael Fernando on June 26, 2007, 2:43 GMT

    Cricket in the US will never catch-on for two reasons:

    One: ICC is so money hungry, they are not willing to give low-cost TV broadcasts to the US cable companies to be carried over "basic cable." Without that free TV exposure to the general American public, people in this country will never seriously consider cricket as an entertaining game. It will always be that "confusing game played over days and days with lunch and tea breaks ."

    More importantly, the reason number two is, no one is making the effort to take the game beyond the expat communities. For cricket to become a sport played, followed and enjoyed by the US public, kids--just regular neighborhood kids--must play the game. For that to happen, kids need to see the game being played; and kids need to aspire to become good cricket players. For them to look up to and wanting to be next Ricky or Kevin or Sachin ... they need to talk about the game in the classrooms, hallways, in cul-de-sacs, etc. In other words, the at least in high-school levels, there must be cricket rivalries between schools. They need to look forward to the next match. They need to dream of being the batsman scoring the winning four in next year's "Big Match."

    If ICC wants cricket to really spread in the US, it should spend some money to create the buzz in several major cities in the US. Put enough money until the artificially created rivalries take root. Once buzz is created among school kids, and the rivalry is hyped by the local media, it will generate the next generation of players. If the US cricket relies only on the expat communities, it will never become a major sport.

    It is sad because finally the sport has a version that the American public can love; the 20/20 version.

  • stuart raw on June 26, 2007, 7:09 GMT

    set up a USA 2020 tournament with Canada and the West Indies involved going around the major sites. see if that makes people interested.

  • Jdav967 on June 26, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    It would be a shame to see them go. They played both their 2004 ODIs against superpowers. I agree with Stuart Raw. Try out a Twenty20, and see what happens, or run an ad campaign. There is still hope.

  • Jeremy Nirmal on June 26, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    Cricket in the USA appeared to be making some progress when they Announced the ProCricket League in 2004. The Cricket league was a 20 over match which meant people could come by after work to check out the games. I went to a game and the problem though that I noticed was that no one was at the games and this meant no more cricket since. This was despite the fact that it cost only $5 to get in!! There are tons of cricket hungry fans in certain pockets of the country like NY-NJ, California and Texas. The USACA has no concern for these people as money and pride seem to be more important.

    Most people in the US would agree with me that the TV folks are slowly doing their bit. The fact that the world cup cost $100 less than the '03 onw and was available on 2 different TV providers proves that the market for cricket is constantly growing.

    Cricket does have the potential to become as big as Football (Soccer) which is all the game needs in this country. The longer the USACA takes to get cricket out to Public schools in the 3 regions that I had mentioned, the less likely it is for Cricket to grow. They need to start at the Elementary school level. The reason for this is that cricket is one of those sports which if you dont watch or play it from a very young age you will most likely never be interested in it.

    The USACA needs to target people from the 20-30 year old generation in order to spread cricket. These are the people who are moving to different regions of the Continent and will be able to spread cricket to regions where Professional sports are not as big. This might give some hope for cricket in the USA by the time the World Cup rolls around in 2019 across the Atlantic.

    Setting up tournaments with neighbouring countries will not work. The USA needs to start by staging ind-pak-windies-aus matches across the nation similar to the way European Football clubs do in the summer. These 4 teams will be able to spread the game and these players can help by visiting the major local teams in order to give players tips. This will bring hope for the young cricketers in the US leagues and maybe they will consider cricket as a future. That though seems a long way off looking at the current board.

  • Ian on June 26, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    USA has things on the uprise for cricket...as we speak, there is a training/practice going on for a tournament being held in Hartford,CT for the under-19 regionals. my brother is among one of the players on the squad for the Southeast region, so the USACA is developing in the right direction...pushing forth the younger players and developing them correctly. the USA will pick up as a cricketing nation, it just takes time, effort, and the SUPPORT by the cricketing fans in America. The tournament i speak of is being held the 6th, 7th, & 8th of July.

  • mohammad zaman on June 26, 2007, 12:48 GMT

    include me in USA cricket team and i will show my potential, i liv in Madison, WI and i can really deliver the goods.......

  • Duke on June 26, 2007, 13:19 GMT

    As about the only "native-born" American I know who follows cricket, I'm saddened to see the state of the sport in my own country. The administration is so far down a hole I don't ever see it getting out.

    Some time ago I was working on an article about modern cricket in America. I had to give up in some disgust because of what I heard "off the record" from a number of people close to the game. In a nutshell there is a lot of racism in the top levels of the administration and in the local game. Of course there is a lot of political wrangling too (I spoke to more than one person who wanted to and were eminently qualified to be involved who were shut out of the process due to petty political concerns) but it's the racism that is really killing the sport in the US. I experienced some of it first hand when I was playing in clubs here myself. It's really the elephant in the corner with regards to US cricket. Everyone knows it's there but nobody wants to talk about it. At least one person I spoke to thought racism was the real reason Project USA didn't work (he actually said that the man leading the project was an "outsider", but it's clear what he meant).

    When I talk to people here about cricket and show them what it's about there's interest--not a lot of interest, but some. The US is a big place and we don't need everybody interested in cricket, just a few. If CricInfo's new owners, ESPN, can show professional rodeo or indoor lacrosse and make a profit off that, how could cricket, which must have more fans even now, fail to make a profit? They've got to show some initiative. Otherwise, the sport's going to die in the US, again. When I talked to the kids of the immigrants who play in the US, they don't want to play cricket, they want to play basketball or soccer or American football, because that's what their "native" friends play and that's what they see on TV. If that trend doesn't change soon, the US could be lost forever as a potential cricketing country. It's time to act now.

  • Joel on June 26, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    I dont think the americans can appreciate a game that requires a lot of time to get to a result, as they are largely interested in the "quick fix" sort of entertainment. that is not to say that there arent interested parties, but they are likely to be expats or their descendants, or scattered Ivy league sporting societies. Americans as a whole consider cricket as a complicated game of the english and couldnt be bothered to find out about it because they feel they would be betraying their own sports of baseball (an ENGISH invented game by the way) and that bastardisation of rugby they call "football". And for those who think 20/20 will take off there as it is shorter and more exciting, consider the experiment of (real) football. it was introduced by a certain Mr Pele more than 30 years ago, but the average american would not be able to name more than one world class footballer (Beckham having been made famous more for his celebrity than his profession). So, no, I dont think cricket will ever work in the USA, their minds already being closed against it. However, cast your minds to the other side of the world where the FUTURE economic superpower is starting to flex its muscles. China is the way forward, people. Stop wasting time and money on a fading dream and wake up and smell the tea.