Monday, August 08, 2005

U.S. Kicked Out of Cricket Tournament

The United States was tossed out of an international cricket tournament after an election dispute left the Americans unable to decide on a team and was replaced with the Cayman Islands in the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

About 10,000 players -- primarily expatriates from south Asia and the Caribbean -- compete in weekend games in the United States. In the USA alone, there are more than 700 cricket teams. This makes the United States the ninth most active cricket-playing country in the world, ahead of all except the top-tier Test-playing countries. Over 1.3 million Americans watched pay-per-view coverage of the 2003 Cricket World Cup, paying three times as much per viewer than their counterparts elsewhere in the world(source:cricinfo.com).

The USACA was hit with an election dispute involving two factions earlier this year, which resulted in this action

This is unfortunate, because just a year back, the US Cricket scene was really good - the national side had won the Six Nations tournament in Sharjah and had qualified for a place in the Champions Trophy. Florida was being considered as a venue to host World Cup matches in 2007, with the West Indies hosting the World Cup.

Unfortunately, they lost - were thrashed - in the Champions Trophy in September 2004. Then, Project USA, the ICC's plan to promote cricket in the country didn't quite go well. The International Cricket Council wrote to the USA Cricket Association president that "We have never seen a sporting organisation that combines such great potential and such poor administration as USACA," stressing that much of the blame laid "with the current office bearers of USACA including yourself". This led to the cancellation of Project USA in March 2005, and then the dropping of Florida as a venue for the World Cup.

Internally, much infighting within the USACA led to the formation of a rival board and lawsuits. In short, the US Cricket scene was blown to smithereens. They were not allowed to attend the annual meeting of the ICC at Lord's in June, as well. This year, they have lost the ICC Trophy in Ireland, and now, been dismissed from the Intercontinental Trophy. They play perhaps the oldest team ever in international cricket. As cricinfo.com reported after the ICC trophy,
For the first time since they started playing international cricket, the USA team returned from an international tournament with a perfect zero. They lost every single match it played in the ICC Trophy in Ireland, from the warm-ups to their final defeat.


In other news, Major League Cricket seems to be doing well. They held an Under-19 National Open Tournament in Chicago in August, and will hold an inaugural Inter-State Cricket Cup for North America in November 2005. This will be held in Florida, and will be called the Clive Lloyd Cup, with 16 states and Canadian provinces participating. The former West Indian batsman, Desmond Haynes, has been appointed US National Coach, and will oversee the Inter-State Cricket Cup tournament as well as the future training of the select MLC US squads. They had to cancel the Under-15 tournament this year, however, citing logistical difficulties.

In other cricket news, the world is looking forward to the world is looking forward to the third of the 5-game the final game of the Ashes between England and Australia beginning on Thursday between England and Australia beginning on Thursday. The series is tied at 1-1 after a nail-biting a yesterday. Australia lost earlier to Bangladesh, and concerns are raised about the pre-eminence of the Numero Uno team in World Cricket.


Also, India defeated the West Indies in the Indian Oil Tri-Series Cup and will face off against Sri Lanka

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