Florida to host 2014 National Championship
The USA Cricket Association has released the schedule for next week's USACA T20 National Championship to be held at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida, from August 14 to 16.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from August 21-24 before the city terminated its hosting agreement in May, causing USACA to shift the event south to the only ICC-certified ODI stadium facility in the USA. Stadium officials in Florida were initially non-committal about taking on the event but USACA eventually secured the funds necessary to ensure the facility would be reserved for the national tournament.
Seven out of the 19 games will be played on the main stadium turf wicket, while 12 other matches will take place on artificial pitches, on a pair of satellite fields adjacent to the stadium. Seven of the games are set to be played at night using floodlights at the park facility, including the tournament final on August 16.
The first match on the main stadium wicket will take place between the South East and Central East region teams, while the night-time fixture inside the stadium on day one will feature North West against Atlantic, who won the last time the tournament was held, in 2011.
Atlantic's squad for 2014 contains plenty of new faces compared to their title-winning side. Only five players remain from the 2011 squad, including recent USA international Imran Awan. Former West Indies Test players Jermaine Lawson and Neil McGarrell, who captained USA at the World T20 Qualifier in 2013 and was instrumental in Atlantic's run to the final, will both miss out.
The eight regional teams will be divided into two groups of four, with the group winners receiving a bye through to the semi-final. The second and third place teams will play crossover matches to advance to the semifinals, while the bottom-placed teams in each group will play each other in a consolation match.
Each region is guaranteed four matches on the weekend while there is a possibility for some teams to play as many as six Twenty20 games inside of three days, including three on the final day.
Even though the event is a Twenty20 tournament, the matches are expected to play a role in helping to select a 14-man USA squad to take part in the 50-over ICC WCL Division Three, which will be held in Uganda during October and November.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna