January 21, 2010

United States of America

A huge step forward for cricket in the USA

Nitin Sundar

When Imran Khan Suddahazai migrated to Saratoga four years back, bidding adieu to the cricket aspirations he nurtured back home in England, he would not have expected the game to follow him. But after a chance, successful, stint as the coach of the California Cricket Academy boys, and another with the men’s team who reached the finals of a regional tournament, a role with the senior USA team was only to be expected. That happened in 2008 when he was appointed the senior manager of the side. Now, Imran will take his team, made up of a mix of amateurs, expats and enthusiasts, to Dubai as they attempt to qualify for the World Cup. Speaking to MercuryNews.com, Imran Khan expressed his delight at the small yet significant strides being made by his adopted home in the game of cricket.

"It’s a huge, huge, huge thing. I can't emphasize it enough or put enough adjectives or superlatives because outside of the U.S., all the major countries play cricket. It's a culture thing. The growth of the game in this country, the media interest it could spark, and the sponsorship it could bring. It would create an image for the U.S. without the average person in the U.S. even knowing.”

"Maybe those in the U.S. don't care or don't know about it. But for the team to make it to the World Cup is huge because we know what the world is expecting and how they view us. It will give us some form of credibility."

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Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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