Okay here’s some news: today the International Cricket Council announced that USA Cricket was approved as an Associate Member.
What does this mean? Not a whole lot. At least not right now. In the future, it could mean higher profile matches against higher profile competition, but for now it puts them on same level as Lesotho, Seychelles and Vanuata. In the present term, it’s nice for a Cricket organization in America to be out from under the shadow of their predecessor, USACA — probably one of the more corrupt cricket associations in the world, and that is saying something — and to actually be looking toward the future instead of looking to line their pockets.
In the nearer term, the one day squad will be preparing to play in the World Cricket League’s 2nd division, with promotion to full ODI status the carrot at the end of that stick. It’s a long shot, but not unheard of. USA Cricket is also are looking toward forming a domestic, professional T20 league, which will help seed the game across the country.
So, not a huge, life altering deal, but always welcome to receive positive news with regard to Cricket in America.
Meanwhile, in Maryland, last December, the state sports authority announced that they were putting renewed focus on building youth cricket in that state. This news, when combined with the news regarding USA Cricket, puts a nice rosy glow on the game in the states today. A healthy youth program in concert with national administrators that aren’t corrupt is the best manner in which to grow the game here in America.
I don’t think cricket will ever be on par with the big five professional sports, or even the middling, regional sports like lacrosse, but I think it will find its place. And, really, it’s already here. Parks across America are littered with kids playing cricket. Those kids will have kids who will participate in well organized youth cricket and within one, maybe two, generations, I could surely see America competing for a possible promotion to Test status.
Stranger things have happened.