November 22, 2010

USA

Out of the frying pan ...

Martin Williamson
Lalit Modi and Don Lockerbie meet in Dubai to discuss IPL initiatives in USA, February 10, 2010
When they were kings ... Don Lockerbie and Lalit Modi  © Daniela Zaharia/USACA
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Reports leaking from the weekend’s USACA board meeting in Florida suggest a return to the grim past when US cricket was synonymous with infighting, factionalism and as much transparency as a brick wall.

Rumours the façade of respectability Don Lockerbie had managed to erect was crumbling had been circulating for a while, but few expected him to be dispensed with so soon. In true USACA fashion, instead of senior executives fronting up to explain what was happening, they headed for the hills and resorted to the tactic of old – silence.

We will comment more when the reasons for Lockerbie’s hasty removal become clearer. Ostensibly, he has paid for not delivery on some eye-popping promises made in his first few months in office, and because the finances are causing concerns. But given the shambolic nature of US cricket in the years before he was appointed CEO, that would be a little harsh.

What should worry anyone connected with the game in the USA is that Gladstone Dainty, a man associated with the dysfunctionality which led the US twice being suspended by the ICC, is back in charge. It will also have been noted with alarm in Dubai where Lockerbie has strong support.

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 Adam Scholem on (December 4, 2010, 9:49 GMT)

Good points about soccer and rugby. Sure there were some star-packed soccer matches put on, but the basis on which soccer grew in the US was putting a ball at the foot of every kid. Something similar for cricket, putting a plastic Kwik Kricket set in schools' physical education closets, will go a long way farther than NZ-SL playing a match in Florida.

The US needs to take a long view of things, and work up a twenty year plan for growing the game. But that doesn't involve lots of flashy recognition, or give access to slush money to siphon into interested pockets, so it's unlikely to happen.

Posted by timmyj on (November 26, 2010, 18:23 GMT)

The main issue now is: who's going to take Lockerbie's place? The USACA had their "business man" and it didn't work out. Will they now just appoint a USACA insider? No one from the ex-pat community has done anything of any importance for USA cricket so this route seems to be a dead end. My advice: bring in someone from Rugby USA or Soccer USA, a person who has proven experience working with Americans at a non-traditional sport. In any event, it's pretty clear there has to be major shift away from the ex-pat community and a shift towards bringing the game to mainstream America.

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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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