USACA, the ACF and the ICC

I won’t rehash the bizarre, embarrassing and frankly not entirely unexpected events that took place during USACA’s recent T20 tournament. But here’s a few links. (H/t Jamie Harrison.)

What the farce of a tournament actually means for the future of the game in America is of course unclear at this point, but a well-oiled, successful tournament would surely have helped USACA’s chances for survival despite recent finger wagging from the ICC, so the fiasco that happened down in Florida this past weekend should have the opposite affect.

Meanwhile, USACA’s competitor, the American Cricket Federation, had itself a great couple of weeks. They drafted a new constitution that not only ensured the democratic election of leaders, but also is rather groundbreaking when it comes to cricket body governance. They added two more leagues to their growing ranks. They were granted tax-exempt status. And they released an annual report that showed the whole of the cricketing world all the really great things they are doing, as opposed to all the corruption and farce on display at USACA HQ.

Now, full disclosure, I know Jamie Harrison – the CEO of the ACF – I have worked with him, for him and have been paid to write articles for his website. And so while that may negate all of this, I say with all confidence that the only way – the only way – for cricket to move forward in the United States is through the ACF. All that USACA offers is dead ends. And so if the ICC truly wants to see the game thrive in America, then their choice is clear: stop turning a blind eye to USACA’s ineptitude and – simultaneously – offer financial assistance to the ACF so they can continue their work and, in time, become the official governing body of American cricket.

I have talked to ACF league managers, administrators and players, and all to a man expressed similar sentiments and confidence in the future of the game in the hands of the ACF.

The choice for the ICC is clear.

But now the ICC will ask itself: do we really want the game to grow in America?

Now, of course, to us, the answer is yes. Why wouldn’t they? We are a country that loves sport – that would fall in love with the game if given a proper national team that competes on the biggest international stages. We are a nation of immigrants that long for the game to move into the mainstream, so there is more cricket not just on our TVs, but in our schoolyards, our stadiums and our parks.

But I don’t think the ICC wants that. I think they have finally have power consolidated as they want it, and opening up the doors to another potential cricketing power is just not something I can image them doing – even if that ascent to power would take generations. Look at the way they treat Ireland and other burgeoning, successful associates, and you cannot help but feel pessimistic when it comes to the chances of cricket in America.

Furthermore, would the ICC want to welcome a federation with such a forward thinking and progressive and democratic constitution? Of course not. That would, for lack of a better phrase, poison ICC’s well of corruption and greed.

The ACF might in the best interests of cricket and cricket in America, but they are not in the best interest of the ICC.

And so that’s why, despite all the evidence to the contrary, I feel that the ICC will continue – for the foreseeable future – to support USACA, leaving the ACF out in the wilderness.

The silver lining here is that the ACF is doing a lot of good out there in the wilderness. From youth cricket to a successful, national championship. Let’s hope they keep it up no matter what happens.


Yes, I am biased here. I know that. But I truly believe that Jamie Harrison and his team are the best people for the job of making cricket a success in America.

Unfortunately, that’s not something I think the ICC wants.

I for one hope I am dead wrong.

Filling the void

Cricket returns in less than two weeks. And I am not talking about the IPL, I am talking about Test cricket. And not just Test cricket, but Test cricket in my hemisphere.

The West Indies are hosting England for three Tests staring with a work-week affair to begin on Monday, April 13. So not only will the match take place during a pleasant time period – much appreciated after the circadian horror show that was the World Cup – but it is happening on work days when I can quietly listen and follow along while at my desk.

This is how I fell in love with the game in the first place, and so with the relaunch of the blog, this will be the perfect manner in which to get back on the writing horse.


The series brings a lot of questions to the table for the hapless England as they prepare for this summer’s Ashes. If Cook can win in Antigua, Barbados and Grenada, then he will of course ride into the English summer the right man to lead the troops into the simmering cauldron of the Ashes.

Lose one or more of those, and Cook’s position in team – not just as captain – will be seriously questioned.

I have always liked Alastair. And it’s a shame how poorly he has managed this squad at times, and how poorly they have played (again, at times) under his leadership. But the silver lining of Test losses in the Caribbean this spring might just a shake up at the top that the team is desperately in need of.

Also on the front burner for England is the possible return of Kevin Pietersen. I have no inside information here, but as a cricket fan I hope he comes back as soon as possible because he is one of the top five most entertaining batsman on the planet.


Short post for now as I re-tune my muse. More again soon.