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    Making (Cricket in) America Great Again, Part 1 or 2: Glorious past to uncertain future

    Making (Cricket in) America Great Again, Part 1 or 2: Glorious past to uncertain future

    Since 2005, one controversy after another rocked the sport in the USA, with USACA being suspended from the ICC in 2005 and then again in 2015, before finally being expelled in 2017.

    Updated: August 2, 2017 4:24 PM IST | Edited By: Anindya Dutta
    Induction into the ICC: Good beginning, quick decline USA was admitted to ICC as an Associate member in 1965. USA Cricket Association (USACA) was formed the same year and became the national governing body for Cricket in the United States, with its headquarters at Miami Beach. In 1979, there was a USA team at the first ICC Trophy. The team s performances improved over the next 10 years or so. The reason however was more an influx of expatriate players from the Indian subcontinent and the Caribbean, rather than the emergence of home grown talent. The seminal moment of this phase of USA cricket came in 2004 when it won the Six Nations Challenge in Dubai and qualified for the Champions Trophy where it would play against 10 Test-playing nations and Kenya. These would be the first ODIs ever played by the USA. Historically speaking, given the old rivalry, the revenge was even sweeter because Canada lost all its 5 matches in the tournament. Unfortunately, this was also the point where the United States was shown its place in the new world of cricket in no uncertain manner. One could say they were unlucky to be placed in a group with giants of the game, Australia and New Zealand. But being placed in a tough group is indeed the lot of minnows in major competitions. In the first match at The Oval, New Zealand rattled up 347 for 5 after being put in to bat. Despite a gritty knock of 39 from 42-year-old former West Indian international Clayton Lambert, USA could only manage 137 in 42 overs. Things would only get worse from here. In the second match, Australia put the USA in to bat. The American innings this time would only last 24 overs and culminate with the score at 65. A third of these runs would be scored by Guyana-born Steve Massiah with 23. Michael Kasprowicz would run through the batting taking 4 for 14. Those two matches remain the first, and thus far last 2 ODIs played by the USA cricket team. Since 2005, one controversy after another rocked the sport in the USA, with USACA being suspended from the ICC in 2005 and then again in 2015, before finally being expelled in 2017. With its governing body in a state of constant upheaval for various reasons, the sport has unsurprisingly suffered and been stuck in a dark tunnel of mediocrity. But there is reason to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It finally seems USA cricket may have turned the corner, with organised grassroots cricket on the rise, a new governing body to be put in place, and efforts on to build sustainable infrastructure including a robust coaching staff and systems, and potentially tournaments that could be a game changer. In Part 2 we shall look at what is happening on the ground today, the efforts on to build that sustainable infrastructure and lay the strong foundations that are needed to bring USA back to the forefront of international cricket, and peer into the future of a sport in a country where success could be a potential game changer for sponsors and players alike.
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