USA November 22, 2010

Out of the frying pan ...

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.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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.