By Orin Davidson
Another controversial decision by the New York cricket authorities has plunged the Regional governing body under leader Selwyn Caesar, to a new low in the run-up to the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) Eastern Conference championship currently underway in Atlanta, Georgia.
Apart from the continued exclusion of Linden Fraser, who coached New York to a title winning performance last year, this time around the selection of batsman Cameron Mirza has left the Committee’s tainted reputation in a worse state.
Prior to team selection, the criteria spelled out for team selection was participation in the New York Inter League competition, but Mirza, a young New Jersey resident never took the field for either of the seven League teams that competed here.
He was selected after national middle order batsman Rashard Marshall withdrew from the squad due to work commitments. It left better qualified and accomplished players including Romano Deane, Karan Ganesh and Kavesh Bridgepaul sidelined, as a result.
According to reports, extensive lobbying was made for Mirza to be included in the Connecticut (North East) and New Jersey (Atlantic) teams , but those attempts were rebuffed.
In trampling upon its principles, the New York committee is continuing to make a mockery of the Region’s once high standing in United States cricket.
Steve Massiah has been retained to captain New York which also includes national players Kevin Darlington as vice captain and Adrian Gordon while former West Indies fast bowler Adam Stanford is picked for the first time. All-rounder Barrington Bartley is also in the mix as is promising batsman Andy Mohamed and New Zealander Stuart Mills, a student in New York. It is not clear whether Mills is qualified to represent the United States, which is a prerequisite for regional selection.
New York plays Connecticut in their opening game Friday and will oppose New Jersey in the key clash Saturday. They take on Florida/Georgia ( South East ) in their last game Sunday. The team is handled by former New York director Carlyle Miller as coach.
New Jersey has been boosted by the inclusion of former Guyana and West Indies spin bowler Neil McGarrell as captain as well as ex West Indies paceman Jermain Lawson. Former United States fast bowler Imran Iwan is also in the lineup as well as fellow discard Clain Williams.