March 2, 2010

USA

US professionalism to start in 2010

Martin Williamson

Don Lockerbie, the chief executive of the USA Cricket Association, has said that plans for the professionalisation of the game in the United States was on track to begin later this year.

“We’re fast approaching the ability to feel comfortable with some of the initiatives that we’ve put in place and some of the financial planning that we’re putting in place and can soon announce,” he told dreamcricket.com. “We’re adding staff to my office which would include hiring a national director of coaching, an assistant coaching staff, kind of retooling the way we select players throughout the country. We’d be looking at a regional coaching staff around the country that we’d want to incentivise with paid positions.

“I think that a lot of people know that my strategy all along has been to start at the national team level and work our way down because I believe that club cricket and regional cricket is healthy. Certainly, they can always use more funding and more facilities and more initiatives and we’ll get that to them in the near future, but the first thing to do in my opinion is to meet the mandate of the ICC and the mandate of the ICC is to make sure that we’re developing professional cricket teams that can make it to World Cups.”

The perennial problem for USACA has been money as the funding it receives from the ICC is no bigger because of the size of the country. “I think the stakeholders of US cricket will soon find that there will be funding for all areas of US cricket,” Lockerbie insisted, without going into specifics. “The goal is to make noise and noteworthy headlines at the national and international level so that the funding can come in so that there are broadcasters and sponsors and investors who want to be part of US cricket and so that it then makes its way throughout all spectres and spectrums of US cricket.”

Sceptics will again flag that Lockerbie’s ambitious plans are big on confidence and promises but sketchy when it comes to details on where the cash will come from.

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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 maneesh vaswani on (April 17, 2010, 5:40 GMT)

finally the us the is getting in terms with cricket.they like to lead , but they are way back in in this area.

Posted by maneesh vaswani on (April 17, 2010, 5:39 GMT)

finally the us the is getting in terms with cricket.they like to lead , but they are way back in in this area.

Posted by Terry Jones of Australia on (April 13, 2010, 23:35 GMT)

USA needs an American Premier League to be established by the USACA as soon as possible. It needs a 6-8 team league with 7 international players and 4 American players in each team. This will give America an elite 24-32 players whom USACA could put under 12 month contract with T20 games with & against International players for 2 months a year and half of them playing international matches for most of the remainder of the year. The other half would play in ODI & 3 day elite domestic competitions for the remainder of the year. Each team could represent a top 10 American city on population and sporting revenue. If the cities are spread over USA then over 5 years Americans will get a good look at cricket and will bring them along in leaps and bounds. If IPL really wanted to help cricket, they would offer to assist USACA in setting up APL.

Posted by anand on (April 11, 2010, 15:51 GMT)

Goodluck usa. Everything is going to be ok. Great attitude goes a long way make it happen after all america is what its all about.

Posted by Adam Scholem on (March 27, 2010, 8:43 GMT)

Quite right, CS. Putting a Kwik Cricket kit in the phys ed closet of every elementary school would go a lot further than any high-end coaching, and would probably be cheaper. Get some kids interested with a low cost of entry, and watch the game grow. It'll take a while, but expanding the base will lead to economies of scale and wider interest. And once there's some interest, sponsors will be interested.

Posted by CS on (March 8, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

My opinion, cricket at school and college level is the only way cricket can improve in USA. It will take years of course. But it took years before India started playing real cricket.

Posted by Rampa on (March 2, 2010, 18:34 GMT)

I like the pessimism with the last part "Sceptics will again flag that Lockerbie’s ambitious plans are big on confidence and promises but sketchy when it comes to details on where the cash will come from." .. :-) ..I mean, it's a legitimate question, with more than a year having gone, it's time we see some concrete stuff. A vision could be eventually blind and a waste of defining it in the first place if it materializes a million years later. Don, nothing personal, I think it's time you provided some details to compliment your "vision". Nothing personal, you have a great background running such responsibilities, but what I don't think you understand is, it's a little different with USA cricket. The guys at USACA sitting out there will not make it happen, infighting and politics is fodder for them, you are just feeding those parasites. Yes, if this indeed happens, I would be very happy for you!

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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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