Peter Della Penna, Cricket 540d

USA, Canada set to revive Auty Cup rivalry

Cricket

The oldest bilateral rivalry in international cricket is set to be revived later this year with the resumption of the KA Auty Cup series between USA and Canada, which has been tentatively scheduled in Los Angeles in October.

The series was last played in 2013 as a two-day match, a 50-over game and a Twenty20 doubleheader in King City, outside of Toronto. The series was shelved in 2014 and 2015 as the boards of both countries ran into financial difficulties. However, discussions have taken place between Cricket Canada and ICC officials, acting in their caretaker role overseeing USA cricket, to restart it.

"One of the advantages of the ICC being intimately involved here is that we care about all the members in the region," Tim Anderson, ICC head of global development, told ESPNcricinfo. "We understand that Cricket Canada hasn't had a lot of international exposure recently. So we thought that maybe it's a good idea to get Canada involved with some preparation that helps them and helps USA."

Though Anderson says the series has not been confirmed, a source in Los Angeles has told ESPNcricinfo that a tentative agreement has been reached to play the Auty Cup at Woodley Park on the weekend prior to ICC WCL Division Four, which is set to be played at the same venue. Media reports out of Jersey - one of the six participants in Division Four along with USA, Bermuda, Oman, Italy and Denmark - state that teams have been informed that the tournament will be played from October 29 to November 5. ESPNcricinfo's sources have confirmed being notified by ICC officials of the same dates, but the governing body has yet to make a formal announcement. The top two teams will be promoted to Division Three, where Canada currently sits with Uganda, Singapore and Malaysia.

The proposed Auty Cup games would be the first fixtures of any kind for both countries since the 2015 ICC World T20 Qualifier in Ireland and Scotland last July. USA finished fifth in Group A with three wins and three losses while Canada went winless to finish last in Group B.

The Auty Cup rivalry dates back to 1844 when Canada beat the USA by 23 runs in a three-day match in New York. Canada are the current holders of the Auty Cup, having retained the trophy after claiming first-innings points in a drawn two-day match in 2013. The last time the two teams squared off with the Auty Cup not at stake was in 2015 at the ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 championship in Indianapolis, where Canada won, also by 23 runs.