MLC throws down the gauntlet
Major League Cricket has thrown down the gauntlet to its detractors and made clear that not only is it not going to disappear, but that it is upping the ante and looking for a bigger role in US cricket.
It announced the appointment of eight State Development Officers (listed below) to help promote and develop the game at all levels and to implement the US Cricket Development Programme. The State Development Officers all report to one of the eight Divisional Operations Officers of which MLC will be announcing in 2006. These eight Divisional Operations Officers all report to the National Development Manager who reports directly to Parag Harolikar, MLC's Vice President of Cricket Operations.
"MLC's U.S. Cricket Development Program is slowly unfolding," said Harolikar. "This is a defining moment in US cricket and we intend to be solidified and structured in our approached. The appointment of these eight SDOs is a great step in that direction and we will be appointing more SDOs in the coming months. We thank them for their commitment and believe in the MLC business process and look forward to exciting developments in cricket for 2006 as we continue working together."
And despite many obstacles and attempts by some factions within US cricket to deter teams from participating, MLC's recent National Interstate Cricket Tournament (NICT) in Broward County, Florida was widely reckoned to be a success, and Bernard Cameron, MLC's CEO, has announced plans for the 2006 tournament.
"We intend to make the 2006 NICT better than 2005 by learning and capitalizing on last year," Cameron explained. "From sponsorship negotiations, hospitality management, itinerary scheduling for both local and international teams along with the use of better publicity and the media, we intend to work closely with our State Development Officers along with our governmental and commercial partners to put in place the necessary business processes that would allow for deeper pockets that would provide the cricketer with a much better managed tournament."
Cameron added that pre-registration for the 2006 NICT could now be completed via MLC's newly-launched website at www.mlcus.com/.
Finally, in a move likely to antagonize supporters of the Gladstone Dainty-led USA Cricket Association, MLC announced a 26-man US national cricket squad based on the best players at its recent NICT.
MLC squad Mahesh Nanda, Sanjeev Singh (Pennsylvania); Shane Ford, Mark Izsac (Florida); Srikanth Sundaragopalan, Bardan Chalise, Shehryar Butt, Phani Chitneni, Mehul Dave, Arnab Mitra Washington; Hasan Waqas, Ajay Sharma, Waqas Qader, Ameeq Khan, Vicky Chanaraj, Hashim Khan Virginia; Sushil Nadkarni, Tejas Sanghvi, Usman Shuja, Arjun Rajagopalan, Niraj Shah, Amir Nanjee (Texas); Aqeel Sabri, Kamran Khan, Ani Khandekar, Abhi Patel (North Carolina).
SDOs Kuldeep Patel (Texas), Naveed Khan (Tennessee), Shailesh S. Bokil (Pennsylvania), George Gordon (Maryland), Shashi Desai (North Carolina), Raghu Misra (Florida), Phani Chitneni (Washington) and Irfan Hasan (Virginia).