USA to host WCL Division Four in LA
The ICC has announced that the USA has been chosen to host ICC World Cricket League Division Four, to take place later in the year. It will be the first WCL tournament that the USA has hosted and will also include Bermuda, Denmark, Italy and two teams promoted from WCL Division Five in Jersey, scheduled for May 21-28.
The tournament will be staged in Los Angeles. Though the ICC has not formally announced a specific site, local sources have told ESPNcricinfo that Woodley Park in the suburb of Van Nuys will be the location for the matches. The Leo Magnus Cricket Complex at Woodley Park has four turf cricket grounds adjacent to each other.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles hosted the first of eight ICC-organised USA Combines for scouting and evaluating national team player talent. While the event was taking place at Woodley, ICC officials met with city officials in Los Angeles to discuss hosting Division Four at the site.
The USA has hosted numerous ICC Americas tournaments, in Fort Lauderdale and Indianapolis. However, neither city has the requisite three turf grounds within close proximity needed to stage the simultaneous three games per day that are necessary for WCL events.
The most high profile event staged at Woodley in the recent past was a five-match series between Australia A and India A in September 1999, captained by Adam Gilchrist and VVS Laxman respectively. The inaugural ACF National Championship was also held at Woodley in October 2012.
New soil has recently been added to the squares at Woodley on some of the grounds to improve the quality of the fields, which have deteriorated in recent years mainly due to overuse.
The USA had been in line to host ICC WCL Division Four in 2012, which was tentatively scheduled to be held in Florida that May. However, USACA's administrative struggles at the time, most significantly the highly controversial 2012 elections, contributed to USA losing the opportunity to host. The tournament was eventually held that September in Malaysia instead.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna