USA news February 12, 2016

Youth cricket summit on tap in Colorado Springs

Netherlands Women's captain, Esther de Lange, will be presenting at the conference © ICC/Ian Jacobs

More than 50 youth coaches and coordinators will descend on the home of the US Olympic Committee national training center on February 13 and 14 for a two-day conference aimed at finding better strategies for the development of youth cricket in America. The ICC Americas office is conducting the seminar as part of their efforts to help unite cricket stakeholders from around the country.

"We hope the concepts and collaboration generated at this seminar will help the passionate youth cricket volunteers in the US to achieve the vision of cricket becoming the fastest growing participation sport in America for females and males," Ben Kavanagh, ICC Americas' regional development manager, said

In addition to American youth coaches who are traveling to Colorado from states including New York, New Jersey, California, Texas and New Mexico, several guest speakers will be giving presentations, including Netherlands Women's captain Esther de Lange and Cricket Australia national field manager Pat Hassett.

Perhaps the most innovative presentation of the weekend will be given by a representative from USA Ultimate, the national governing body of the competitive Ultimate Frisbee. ICC Americas' high performance consultant Tom Evans said the purpose of the conference was to get people thinking outside the box about ways to engage and grow. Having USA Ultimate involved, whose headquarters is also in Colorado Springs, enhances that cross-sport knowledge sharing.

"It's a different offering and a non-traditional sport, which cricket is in many ways to mainstream America," Evans said. "So there's lessons to be learned around how they get people involved in what is a non-traditional sport and how they keep them involved around that same messaging. So that was the appeal but I think there's a bit to be learned through that. There's plenty we can learn from sports in the US that aren't necessarily cricket people."

USA's youth participation numbers have been hovering between 600 and 1000 players for the last decade according to figures released in the ICC's annual Associate player data census. It is one area the ICC has zeroed in on as a priority in their strategic plan for helping to grow the game in the USA in the wake of USACA's June suspension.

"People are passionate about youth cricket but want to learn more about how to go about it," Evans said. "Hopefully some of the skills that they'll walk away with after this weekend is how to approach it or what I am doing at the moment could be improved or modified to make it bigger and better. There's going to be a few people who bring different perspectives but that's all good as long as people come with a mindset that they're there to learn, share and make cricket better as a result."

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • PratUSA on February 12, 2016, 22:51 GMT

    It's pleasantly surprising to see so many initiatives being taken by ICC in trying to develop the sport here in U.S. Now you just have to hope that USACA remains suspended for another 8 to 10 years so the good work can continue. The moment administration gets back in the hands of Dainty and his friends, everything will stop again and the guy will never take any responsibility on himself. With CPL coming in, maybe couple more facilities could come up in next few years, and if a World T20 can then be hosted, along with cricket in Olympics, who knows cricket might just become a third tier sport in America. That would be a huge really, from merely being an 'insect' today.

  • keepcalmandslaptheumpire on February 12, 2016, 22:40 GMT

    Americans don't understand cricket let alone want to play. Only people who play are expats from other cricket playing nations like india who might string together a 6 a side game if lucky. They've got Baseball, football, basketball and hockey already deeply entrenched in their sporting tradition and only recently has soccer taken off slightly but look how hard that was to do. Spending billions is needed if you want americans to play cricket and ICC can't afford that so develop countries like Afghanistan, Ireland, Namibia and Netherlands which at least have some following among the native population. Trying to target money-markets doesn't work as you have to spend money to make money and ICC doesn't have the funds required. The goal should be getting more competitive teams in internationals, not spending money on countries who will scoff in the face of cricket or hate it for reasons of false neocolonialism.

  • timmyj on February 12, 2016, 19:44 GMT

    What the heck is a Frisbee company doing at a cricket summit? Like to hope good things come from this but given the track record of other meetings like this I wouldn't be very hopeful. Don't really see how Dutch women and Aussies would in any way know how to get mainstream Americans to take up cricket. It's just a completely different sporting world from what these people operate in.

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