Greater Philadelphia Cricket League
The Greater Philadelphia Cricket League (GPCL) under the leadership of its President, Dr. Tahir Maqsood, is quickly establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with in the northeastern region of the United States. Newyorkcricket.com caught up with the league’s Secretary Ernie Precious, in the absence of President Dr. Tahir Maqsood, currently out of the country.
Ernie Precious is also the President of the British Officers’ Cricket Club of Philadelphia (BOCC), a member club of the GPCL and the American Cricket Federation (ACF).
1. Tell us something about your league’s president Dr. Tahir Maqsood and his involvement with the GPCL
Dr. Maqsood played cricket before leaving Pakistan for London and later the USA, where he has been very active in cricket ever since his arrival here more than 25 years ago. He has been Club Captain of the BOCC for 12 years and plays in GPCL league games, as well as social and friendly matches. He is a committee member of the Philadelphia International Cricket Festival, now in its 23rd year and also of the CC Morris Cricket Library at Haverford College, Haverford, PA.
2. When was the GPCL established and where do you play?
The Greater Philadelphia Cricket League was established in 2013 and we play in southern Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey.
3. How many clubs are in your league?
There are currently 26 clubs in our league.
4. As a member league of the ACF. Has the GPCL participated in the ACF’s American Cricket Champions League (ACCL)?
Yes, the GPCL has participated in the ACF’s ACCL tournament.
5. How did the GPCL do in the 2014 ACCL tournament?
The GPCL did very well, however, we expect to improve on our 2014 performance in this year’s tournament, and we will have a stronger squad of players to call upon. We intend to win it this time!
6. Who do you expect to be the GPCL’s outstanding player this year?
We expect Waqas Shahid to be our biggest star this year.
7. What are some of the short-term and long-term goals of the GPCL?
The GPCL plans to grow in size and importance both in the short-term and long-term. We are already the biggest cricket league in the region and we expect to grow from our current 26 teams to 40 teams within the next three years.
8. What do you see as the biggest hurdles facing the GPCL?
We see cash flow as one the biggest hurdles to growth. We need sponsorship, and we also see access to enough grounds and the ability to have grass wickets, as major hurdles.
9. In your opinion, what are some of the successes of the ACF?
The ACF has succeeded in putting together an infrastructure that has already resulted in national league tournaments and two North American Cricket Championship tournaments. It has done so in a truly democratic and open manner. Transparency is vital and ACF continues to demonstrate such.
10. What are some of the differences between ACF and USA Cricket Association?
As mentioned before, ACF has already shown transparency, an ability to organize tournaments, and to fulfill its promises. USACA is unable to make such claims.
11. Where does GPCL see cricket in the USA, in the next 3-5 years?
We see cricket growing to where there will be national tournaments, international tours and the prospect of semi-pro players active in US cricket within the next five years.