US game is back on track after latest expulsion
THE ICC and USA enjoyed an uneasy relationship in recent years – akin to a teacher knowing a pupil could do much better, if they didn’t muck around so much.
That, though, could be about to change.
The ICC expelled the USA Cricket Association in June, ending a 52-year association with a country with three suspensions from the world governing body since 2005. Enough was enough.
“The whole process, from suspending USA CA to expelling them, the whole objective was to unite the American cricket community behind a national governing body that represented everybody,” Dave Richardson, the chief executive of the ICC, said at the time. “The first step will be creating the governance infrastructure to fill that void and represent the whole cricket community bearing in mind the country’s size.”
Just four months on, peace appears to have broken out and the building blocks outlined by Richardson have been put in place.
On Sunday, with a launch designed to coincide with the 173rd anniversary of the first international cricket match between the USA and Canada, USA cricket took its first steps into a brave new world, with the unveiling of a new USA Cricket brand.
Although the ICC Americas USA project team will continue to run cricket in the country, a new board to govern the federation looks set to be in place next April – providing a platform, the ICC hopes, to put cricket in the country on its soundest footing in a generation.
“It’s an exciting day for US cricket as we celebrate the past and look to the future,” says ICC Americas USA project manager, Eric Parthen. “It is a fresh start and we’re hugely encouraged by what we have been hearing from the cricket community. The conversations and progress we have made are on track to unifying as one body for cricket in the USA.
“The launch of the USA Cricket brand and the social media platforms are the first step in achieving our goal and we’ve produced an exciting look for the federation.”
The creation of a new membership database is also seen as a crucial step forward in the country’s bid to bring about the ‘transparent election process’ that the ICC has consistently demanded.
USA Cricket, it seems, is on its way back. Although how long it takes for the sleeping giant to open its eyes is anyone’s guess.