March 26, 2009

USA

Inzamam courted by American Premier League

Martin Williamson

Inzamam-ul-Haq and up to seven disaffected members of the Lahore Badshahs ICL franchise are in discussions with an American entrepreneur who hopes to establish an international Twenty20 tournament in New York City.

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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 Xerol on (March 31, 2009, 16:09 GMT)

If this goes through I can see myself taking the trip up from Baltimore. The best way to get Americans involved is to make it accessible to many people, and even if baseball is going on it can be competitive with reasonable ticket prices and good scheduling.

Posted by Rich B on (March 28, 2009, 19:23 GMT)

It can't be too bad if Inzamam is going to be involved - probably similar in composition to the one in Fort Lauderdale a while ago.

True, most players will probably be over the hill but you won't get any genuine international cricket until team USA climb the ladder a bit more. I reckon a tournament like the recent one in Toronto might be the next step.

Posted by timmyj on (March 27, 2009, 17:49 GMT)

This sounds just like the failed USA 20/20 league they tried in 2004. They're even gonna play on the same ground. Desi cricket hustlers are dime a dozen here in the states and this is just the latest crazy scheme. We can only hope that one of these days we'll get some real, bona fide, 2020 cricket here in the states put together my a reputable, professional, financially sound, organization that knows what they're doing. But since the Stanford fiasco this hope is fast fading.

Posted by Adam Scholem on (March 26, 2009, 20:33 GMT)

Is this designed to promote cricket to the non-expat (and non-first-generation) community? Basing the teams on their national origins might well draw in the expats, but the Aussies and English won't show up to see the retired Indians take on the retired Pakistanis and vice versa. And the Americans just won't show up. October is baseball playoff season, and both New York teams stand good chances of being involved. That's some stiff competition for an obscure foreign game. As a money maker, I have my doubts about it. Unless the quality of play is truly amazing, the cricketing population of New York will prefer to watch the national teams play on satelite, and keep going to the park on the weekend. There will be some curiosity at first (I'll go to the first game if this actually comes about), but even the India-Pakistan games will ring hollow after a very short while. I would love nothing more than to see cricket take off in New York, and the States as a whole, but this won't do it.

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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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