USA news May 8, 2014

WICB to partner USACA to develop game in America

ESPNcricinfo staff

The WICB and the USA Cricket Association (USACA) have announced a "long-term joint partnership" to help develop cricket in the USA. The plan includes bringing the best performing players in USACA leagues and clubs into WICB development programmes, and having a member of West Indies' board of directors sit on the USA board to prop up cricket administration in the country.

The focus will be on bettering player performance, administration and the financial state of the game in the USA, the joint statement from the two boards said. To facilitate the third point, USACA's chief executive "have a position" on the WICB's executive committee.

WICB president Whycliffe Cameron said the West Indies board was supporting the USACA's attempt to bring in governance changes. "We are going to be engaged on a day-to-day basis on the three core pillars for development," Cameron said. "We will rapidly build plans and open up infrastructure for bringing top US players into the West Indian development system, and we are supporting the finalisation of the current USACA governance changes."

Gladstone Dainty, the USACA president, said the "access to a very close geographic Full Member" was a great chance for his administration and the players. "Having the opportunity to work closely with another Full Member country offers exciting opportunities for US players looking to sharpen skills and experiences with world-class cricketers. The WICB will also, via their board member on the USACA board, support the governance change programme that the USACA board is currently managing. This is a long-term strategy to help build the three foundations for a highly successful US cricketing market: high performance development, models for economic growth and modern-day governance."

Prior to establishing a formal partnership, the WICB had invited USACA to send a USA national team to participate in the Nagico Super50 regional tournament this past January and February, according to a USACA source. USA would have joined Ireland as Associate nations in the event but USACA had to decline the invitation in part because of the costs USACA would have incurred in order to send a team to play three group stage games in Trinidad and Tobago. A Combined Campuses and Colleges team wound up participating instead.

In November 2009, USACA announced a "strategic partnership" with New Zealand Cricket which was intended to also facilitate the sharing of resources between the countries. Dipak Patel traveled to Florida to conduct a preparation camp for the USA U-19 squad ahead of their participation two months later in the 2010 U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Patel also served as a consultant coach for the USA senior team in February 2010 at that year's World T20 Qualifier in the UAE and ICC WCL Division Five in Nepal. Although there were initial plans to send USA players to New Zealand to develop and get experience in their professional setup, those plans eventually fell through.

New Zealand Cricket also signaled their intentions as part of the partnership to stage games in the USA, including the proposed launch of a professional T20 league. New Zealand played Sri Lanka in two T20Is at Central Broward Regional Park in Florida in May 2010 followed by two more T20Is against the West Indies in the summer of 2012. USACA sold the hosting rights for the pair of 2012 matches to the WICB for $1. However, the WICB and NZC chose not to stage any further matches at the Florida venue for the upcoming New Zealand tour to the West Indies this summer, which includes two T20Is to be held in Dominica and three Test matches.

This WICB partnership comes at a vital time for the USACA. The organistaion is on shaky ground, given it could be facing suspension from the ICC with its control over the sport in the country slipping. Under ICC rules, Associate membership is dependent upon a board proving it is "the sole recognised governing body for cricket in the country". But dissatisfaction with the USACA had meant around a third of the country's senior hard-ball leagues signed up with the rival organisation, the American Cricket Federation.

In another setback, apparent frustration at the USACA's failure to accept governance reform was said to be a contributing factor the board's chief executive, Darren Beazley, recently quitting - his yet-to-be-named replacement will sit on the WICB's executive committee. High performance manager Andy Pick also resigned, citing political interference in his selection and development plans. The board is believed to be around $3m in debt and if the ICC suspend it and withdraw funding - believed to be around $400,000 a year - it could spell the end for it.

The USACA had twice before been suspended by the ICC, both times with Dainty at the helm; in 2005 and 2007 the ICC took the action due to governance issues.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 14, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    If it helps the West Indies to be a more financial structure in the long term, then that can't be a bad thing. But one of many concerns are the lack of development in the Caribbean, in regards to the progression of Test cricket. Alot of close-minded fans are fickle enough to point the finger at certain individuals, but their complete and utter failure to look at the bigger picture, is what i find disturbing. I have mixed feelings about T20 cricket, the format is a batsman's game and no hiding place for the bowlers. But you can't argue with the financial rewards worldwide. I just hope the WICB don't neglect the obvious need of the allround improvement to young players and senior players having the technique and temperament required to play internationa test match/ODIl cricket, by competing with the counterparts of Aus, SA, Eng, NZ, Asia and not just thinking about the dollar-signs.

  • Ranjeet on May 13, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    USA needs to focus on strengthening the domestic cricket structure first. All the leading cricket countries have a strong domestic cricket environment which creates quality players. And also of course the youth cricket. Unless we focus on that the rating of USA in International Arena would not improve.

    Sending players to WICB will definitely be expensive which may most likely not happen. If USACA can get some coaches and set up cricket camps nationwide to boost the interest in cricket that might be a better approach.

  • Srinivas on May 10, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    WICB can't take care of Windies Cricket and they will develop USA Cricket? Didn't come across a better joke in recent days! Lol. If these top performers are in USA on H1 Visas and stuff like that, then I don't see any reason why those top performers will leave their jobs or get time off from their jobs and go into those so called training camps organized by a legendary failed board called WICB? I'm sure none of my fellow Indians who are in USA will want to take time off from their jobs to attend those training camps. Same could be said of other top performers who are on non-immigrant visa status. Simple as that! A country cannot develop Cricket by depending on H1 Visa holders. The little children of the country need to have interest in the game. There are no shortcuts in successfully developing Cricket or any sport for that matter. Only BCCI has the capacity to pump money into USA, if USA cannot find enough sponsors from big businesses. And I don't see why BCCI would be interested.

  • Christopher on May 10, 2014, 1:36 GMT

    What's the over/under on this initiative falling through? 15 months? The answer is really "whenever it becomes apparent that USACA is not really interested in reform". Another move that looks good on paper but will produce nothing. I agree with the others who have posted.

  • Ali on May 9, 2014, 21:26 GMT


    @ punterdgr8

    developing Canadian and US cricket is a serious step to developing WI cricket

  • Dummy4 on May 9, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    This must be a joke, the WICB cannot fix the developmental issues which has plagued the Caribbean for the past 15 years and they are extending a helping hand to Cricket USA. As another poster said, USA cricket should the opposite of everything the WICB suggests and they will succeed.

  • Derek on May 9, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    Back in the day when a succession of WI cricketer (fell from the trees) by this I mean were produced naturally through the various island systems all was well. If we contrast this with the organic growth era , where the WI have an academy and coach with his battery of specialist trying to produce "GOOD CRICKETERS" it just has not happened. The fact is WI domestic competition and the coaching is not producing cricketers capable of competing. Narine was not developed through the academy system, instead he like most of the Trinidadian players have excelled in their domestic leagues, then go through to the national squad which arrived in the champions league. This should tell each island that they need to focus on developing better resources at grassroot and if the players can't make the WI team they can eventually enjoy careers like Narine, Dwayne Smith & Pollard for example. TEST Cricketers?? The boards killed this off in succession by failing to do the right things when the WI dominated

  • Derek on May 9, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    How about including Canada also?

  • Dummy4 on May 9, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    If both organizations did a comparative analysis of WI and USA cricket, they would have found compelling reasons NOT to finalise this deal. First, they say it will allow for "top performing club cricketers in the USA' to improve. Lets look at this closer. Who are the top level cricketers ? They are expats who are here for economic reasons--so they have full time jobs. Lets say, some of these top players are selected for trials. They then have to get time off from jobs to ravel across the country, a trip that could be a week or more. They do not have that luxury at their jobs to leave as they like. No work no pay. Unlike the WI club players. Cricketers who play first class cricket in WI are usually full time cricketers, either subsidized or sponsored. That is not the same in the USA. Young cricketers in the USA may be in a university and may not want to risk an education for a chance...but in the WI none of players are seeking a higher education, so their only hope is to go pro..

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    Bring in West Indies management and whatever they say to do, make sure and do the opposite and everything will turn out great.

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