|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Fantasy||Mobile|
The real impact of the USA's suspension from international cricket will hit home today when north of the border in Toronto the region's leading teams will meet to take part in the Americas Under-19 Qualifier.
The prize at stake is a place at the ICC U-19 World Cup in Malaysia next February and March. While hosts Canada will be joined by sides from Argentina, Bahamas, Bermuda and Cayman Islands, the USA's young players will be left at home dreaming of what might have been.
The USA were present at the last U-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka - on that occasion the ICC hierarchy commendably decided that it would be unfair to punish young players because of the governance issues affecting the national board . But this time there has been no such concession and so the U-19 side will miss out.
The sadness of this becomes more apparent when you listen to people involved in grassroots US cricket.
Last month, Hemant Buch, co-founder of the California Cricket Academy, told Cricinfo: "There will simply be more and more junior cricket in all parts of North America, and we should have several thousand first-class juniors ready to play competitive cricket by 2011."
When the various factions indulge in their next bout of self-obsessed squabbling for control of the USA Cricket Association, they would all so well to remember that the real victims of their conduct of recent years should be in Toronto preparing for the biggest week of their lives.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
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.