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What About Akeem Dodson?

By Orin Davidson
April 18th, 2010 | 6 Comments
Ineptitude is occurring with such frequency in United States cricket it is similar to assaulting your nerves like a stuck record does.
The talented Akeem Dodson batting during the recently held Sam's Food T20 Tournament. (Photo by Shiek Mohamed)

If it’s not the national ruling body’s cricket committee, it is the selectors who cannot seem to resist opening themselves to ridicule with appointments and selection choices for national teams or otherwise.

Hot on the heels of the Under-19 squad’s management team fiasco, the selectors have since stunned the cricket fraternity with omissions from the squad named to train for upcoming competitions.

A document sent to the United States of American Cricket Association (USACA) Board members listed 28 players for a camp from which the touring squad would be selected for the ICC Americas championship in Bermuda next month.

A shocking omission is Akeem Dodson and to a lesser extent Gregory Sewdial and Dennis Evans, who were also surprisingly overlooked.

Unless disciplinary action has been taken against Dodson, of which there is no reason to and for which the player knows nothing about, his omission is a preposterous act that goes against the grain for everything that development stands for in the United States context.

Dodson is one of the best wicketkeepers in the country and a better batsman than all, except the nation’s first choice Carl Wright.

And to deem him not good enough for a squad of 28, not one of 18 or 15, would make any casual observer feel those selectors need to have their heads examined.

That is if you are not aware of the real cause for this act, which amounts to nothing less than blatant victimization.

You do not have to be Grade A analyst to figure out that Dodson is feeling the repercussions of criticism his father leveled against the national team’s management during its failed campaign in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifying competition earlier this year in the United Arab Emirates.
Vejai Seonarine (top) and 18 year-old Fahad Barbar (below) had a successful Sam's Food T20 Tournament. (Photos by Shiek Mohamed)

Dr Linden Dodson, objectively critiqued the team’s management policies and the process used to arrive at its composition in a recent newyorkcricket.com article.

And as soon as one can say “bowled down” Akeem Dodson was booted from the national team’s plans.

This is only weeks after he was part of the camp squad this year and following his selection in the party that toured the West Indies to compete in its limited overs championships in late 2008, following which he was in the 14 for the Americas championship.

America is considered the bastion of free speech, but this petty act by the selectors is an outrageous transgression in a country where one is free to air their views without fear of victimization.

USACA is trying its darndest to sell the sport to mainstream America, sponsors and the world at large, but the continued primitive behavior by components of the national ruling body would kill its best efforts to so do.

You have to wonder whether these individuals think that promoting victimization would please the International Cricket Council (ICC) which is going the extra mile to push development here, which its wild card entry to the T20 qualifiers implied.

Hell no.

It sure would do the opposite and add fuel to the fire for other Associate member nations who feel America is being treated preferentially, to bash this country.

And Dodson is the ideal prototype player to spearhead the selling of America’s cricket.

He is a very good young, born and bred American who learnt and played his cricket here.

The wicketkeeper/batsman also went as far as securing an English league team contract last summer to aid his development which no other American player has ever done.

So, what message is these selectors sending to the 23-year old player?

Do they want to frustrate him into switching his interest to another sport or activity for which the options are limitless in America?

The same type of frustration can be attributed to Evans, a young enough and outstanding player who has been dumped after playing for the national team in the said West Indies tour and is continuing to pile up the runs in the Metropolitan League. He was also part of the victorious New York Eastern Conference team.

A threat made by a high ranking national team official to the player, that he would not play for America, because he spurned an offer, would be the only explanation for his omission.

Such is the depraved thinking of people in high places in America’s cricket, it is embarrassing beyond comprehension.

Sewdial’s case is one of extreme shortsightedness.

Here is a proven promising young player who has obviously lost his way following disappointing showings in recent international competitions including the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year in New Zealand. As a result he should’ve been in the camp squad because he badly needs working on to take his game to the next level.

Sewdial is still a teenager and at this stage of his career needs maximum training and supervision to build a foundation for the future. He is a no different to fellow teenagers Andy Mohammed, Ryan Corns, Saqib Saleem and Mohamed Ghous whose selections in that training camp squad are fully justified.

Instead he has to deal with armchair selectors who are clueless most of the time and make no attempt to do a proper job.

Case in point, not a single panel member attended the just concluded Sam’s Foods T20 tournament to note the high class displays of 18 year-old batsman Fahad Babar or make a determine on the valuable performances of Vejai Seonarine.

By now USACA should realize it is going nowhere fast with this selection panel and its cricket committee.

Send your comment
Orin Davidson Column Homepage

Derek, sorry mate you are one that has been black listed. One close associate read out some names: Derek Kalisharran, Atul Rai, Vernon Reddy, Linden Fraser, Basil Butcher, Clifford Hinds, Lester Hooper, Orin Davidson, Kamran Khan, Bobby Rafaie, Reggie Benjamin and Mr. Dodtson. They label these guys as trouble makers. The reason is these are people that will speak the truth and dont kiss asses. Masood is the leader of USACA, it is mentioned that Dainty is his puppet and if he wants him out it will be done. It is mentioned that Dainty has one more year and the entire group of guyanese will be gone with him. To save face Akeen Dodson will be included in the training squad for the camp. Mr. Dotson dont let your son attand the circus.

Posted by Ravi Singh on April 20th, 2010

Common, you guys are jumping the guns,the team havent even released to the public and everyone start talking crap.. Dereck,what are you talking about, you are the most indiscipline person there is. you want to be in everything..look at your self jumping from team to team..your name is playing not you..Guys, Akeem Dodson is a great cricketer and by all means he should be included if he is not..the problem will start when we see players like Massiah friends Darlington and the the man that is only playing for the usa just for the money.Lenox the in for Money Cush..USACA lennox lives in Guyana ..lets wait and see the squad Gentlemen..We need a captain who respect everyone not only friends..wake up Steve Massiah your place is at stake
Posted by Arshad Mohammad on April 19th, 2010

I read that story and that's a good one. But I am interested in that, only the part that says regardless of the age of the person the best team should be picked at all times. I do agree with that 100%,but that was the same culprit along with some others in NY said i was too old to play when I was 38 years old. Isn't that a big turn around or plain stupidity. I could not even make that NY region's team at that time.The luck of some guys, enjoy it. Maybe I was not the type of guy who was kissing up the big guys at that time.
Good luck to America's cricket.
Posted by Derrick on April 19th, 2010

We all talk and does not do anything at all. Who is the selection commitee? When people talkout against the first thing they do is basically get rid of them at every level. USA cricket with what we have now is going nowhere fast. How does one player was one player away from touring to Dubai and Nepal but can\'t make a 28 man squad? this has happened before to Akeen and It must hurt. What else this kid has to do to get selected? This camp will be in New York his backyard and to be omitted is sending a message. USACA knows how to distroy people careers. As one of the members states they controlling things.
What a load of horse pupe.
Posted by Ravi Singh on April 19th, 2010

Sam’s Foods T20 tournament was this a trial match to make the US Team? I’m for all the Youth of Today and tomorrow. All we are doing is recycling the same (OLD) players over and over. Let drop them like a bad habit. Let the Youths play, in a few years we (US) should have a very good team. Board Members there are other people who play cricket in this country also beside people from the Caribbean. (Pakistan/India/). Case and point STRIKERS CC won the Sam Food T20, Most of them are from Pakistan.
Posted by Danny on April 19th, 2010

Your comments are fair but lacking in detail and true insight. The selectors you say are the ones picking the squad or probables. Actually its the Board of Directors of USACA who pick the team. They have named a selection committee that has no power. Right here in our NY is the real selectors. Krish Prasad is the one who picks the team. I see so much talent here in NY leagues every week as I Play with or against these guys such as Akeem and because Prasad doesnt like Akeems father and great people like Linden they get chopped. USACA is a joke and its the only organization run and operated by a bunch of ras BoD that need to be sacked.
Posted by American Cricket Fan on April 19th, 2010
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