June 7, 2008

USA

USA star banned ... for playing cricket

Martin Williamson

The lack of cohesion between the various regional organisations in the USA was highlighted by the decision of the Midwest Cricket Conference (MCC) to ban a 15-year-old, and five other adults, who represented a different region in the Central East Regional tournament.

Among those barred was Abhijit Joshi, a 15-year-old who last month represented the USA at the Clico International Under-15 event in the Caribbean. Joshi was actually presented with a special award at the Central East Regional tournament by a vice president of USACA recognising his performances in the West Indies.

The six were not included in the official MCC side and, as happens with many players, they opted to turn out for another league in which they also play. MCC did not select their squad until shortly before the competition itself. Joshi had agreed to turn out for the National Cricket League, as he also plays in their games, before MCC announced that anyone turning out for any other league would be punished.

On May 31, the MCC said that the six had been suspended. Joshi turned up for a club match the next day only to be told he could not play. "He moped around for all 80 overs cheering a nine-man team onto a brave win from the sidelines," an eyewitness told Cricinfo. "The other suspended players are all over 30 years of age, and a weekend off meant more time with family. But the tragic news of a 15-year-old being suspended for actually playing cricket has stunned folks."

"People should understand that this is not a disloyal act," one of the six told dreamcricket.com. "It's not Kevin Pietersen turning up to play for UK because he did not get on the South African team. Playing for multiple leagues is a done thing in Chicago. A lot of my friends play in multiple leagues. We do this because we like to play more cricket than what just one league can afford. In my case, the two leagues also play a different format."

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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 sabeeh rafique on (June 30, 2008, 5:27 GMT)

so i was talking about spirit of the game. Sorry folks that doesn't exist in NY cricket. Umpires are scared of their fellow country men players. In this country you have to be from west indies in order to play if you are not then get few west indians in your team then you are good to go. I can guarantee you even if you have sachin tendulkar in your team and you have Brett Lee in your line up you will still lose because of the politics, cheap cricket and umpiring favoritism. Even Zeus himself can't do any thing about USA cricket because of this level cricket we play in our country we were so pathetic in Jersey. When would this end i would say that would take another century by that time nepal would be the world champs and we will still be trying to qualify to be recognized on a world level. Every one knows how are the Windies now? have you forgotten the lights of the Ambrose and Marshall. Politics have destroy Caribbean cricket and now happening here in U.S sadly on grass root level.

Posted by sabeeh rafique on (June 30, 2008, 5:14 GMT)

well where to start i don't even have a clue. USA cricket is a big mess. we can't play cricket in this country until we stop playing favoritism. I play for the EACA Cricket League in new york and listen to this the U.S captain Steve Messiah is from this league. He used to captain the N.Y Challengers and also Lennox Cush is also from this League in fact he was the league MVP scoring 420 runs which i don't or no one understood because i scored 380 runs and took 28 wickets and i have the league presentation copy to prove. they awarded me with the MIP which is most improved player award about which i never heard of. They were too afraid to give me the MVP award i guess i have no complains because whatever i learned about cricket is from EACA but this league represents a lot to U.S cricket even the USACA official John Aaron is from this league as well. the problem with the league is every one wants to win at any cost no matter what.spirit of the game what is that??? continued

Posted by Simon Butler on (June 12, 2008, 8:34 GMT)

It is a shame to hear that the game is a no go in the USA. It must be hard to take after 12 years of trying to get the game going. I hope that one day in the near future the administration is sorted out in the USA. Although the governing of the game has been problematic for most of the last 50 years in a lot of countries. including my country Australia, until the mid 90's. Its only in recent time the Australian Admin seems to have sorted itself out.

Posted by Doosra on (June 10, 2008, 19:42 GMT)

Easily solved. Let the boy come play in England where his already recognised talent will be appreciated and where his skills will be honed. A reverse "Bend it like Beckham" if you will.

Posted by Sunny R on (June 9, 2008, 20:31 GMT)

I'm 17, and I too play for the MCC. As of now, I do agree that some serious action needs to take place in order to stabalize the current condition of cricket in the USA. Sure, it is advancing, but not to the magnitude that it should have. I've only been playing for two years because I didn't even know that there was an established league. There needs to be more advertisement of the game so that not just Indians are playing. It would also be a good idea to have REAL cricket pitches to play on instead of those green turf pitches. When it comes to suspending a 15 year old, that just isn't right.

Posted by Sunny on (June 9, 2008, 19:18 GMT)

Having played the role of administrator in US for a decade, and sacrificing a lot to see cricket take off in US, I can tell you from personal experience. Cricket is a no go in this country. Not because of lack of enthusiasm, but lack of administration, or shall I say, the highhandedness of select few, who think they own this game in this country. When it comes to cricket in US, you are looking at a hodgepodge of many countries and cultures and them bringing their racial/biased and illiterate baggages into administration. Show me one successful local (state) organization that can function smoothly for the betterment of the game. I gave up my dream of putting US on world cricket map after giving up 12 years of my life to volunteering, hard working at local, regional and national level. It just escapes me how some of the people look at this effort to line their own pockets. I wanted to do the work for my children, but it remains a dream. Cricket in US will remain in the bushes.

Posted by Adam Scholem on (June 9, 2008, 14:16 GMT)

The USACA just went through a long and acrimonious process to ratify a new constitution and elect new leadership. Unfortunately, it seems to be just more of the same.

I've previously commented on my observations at my local cricket gear shop, where some teenager (I didn't catch the age) was to be excluded from playing in one squad because he'd played on another team at some point. This sort of thing isn't rare or isolated; it just seems to need to be at a sufficiently high level to make the news.

I wonder how long it will be before the racial edge of this story comes through...

Posted by Simon Butler on (June 8, 2008, 7:08 GMT)

What a shame. What is going on the the politics of cricket in the USA? It is a mess. There is so much talent, money, and player numbers in the USA that they could be playing test cricket by now. The management of the game in the USA needs to be completely dissolved and a new management established.

Posted by Brian on (June 8, 2008, 0:33 GMT)

What a sorry state of affairs in the USA. I am 21 and have played a few games in the MCC before, and it is undeniably a second rate organization, this doesn't surprise me in the least. I have since quit and just play intramural at my university because of the MCC's ineptitude.

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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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