By Orin Davidson
Months of backbreaking work almost went up in smoke as the second staging of the US Cricket Open competition was only hours from being canceled before the first ball was bowled.

USACA president Gladstone Dainty.

The sanctioning hiccup that nearly torpedoed the biggest Twenty20 competition in the United States nevertheless came close to being crippled as the long list of star West Indies players were all debarred from competing.
Jeff Miller, tournament director and Vice President – Operations of Cricket Council USA, which owns the US Cricket Open, at one stage feared not would’ve been bowled.

He said they were required to pay a sanctioning fee the day before the first day ball was to be bowled which proved to be a nightmare to handle.

By that time all the stars had arrived in Florida and were raring to go.
It was supposed to be a return showdown among the players who featured prominently in the West Indies Twenty20 championship a few months prior.

Darren Ganga, William Perkins, Dave Mohamed, Lendll Simmons, along with Guyana super star Lennox Cush were joining forces with Bedessee New York Destroyers in a quest to bolster the team’s chances for a first US Cricket Open title win.   Their counterparts Dinesh Ramdin, Sherwin Ganga, Navin Stewart, along with Jamaica big names Danza Hyatt and Krishmar Santokie were to strengthen a newly formed Bedessee Florida Destroyers.

And the biggest name of them all Ramnaresh Sarwan, Guyana’s best limited overs batsman and  his West Indies teammate Narsingh Deonarine were down to do battle for United Chargers which was fielding  a virtual All Star United States national team as the great majority of names were plucked from the side that is on its way to attaining Division One status in the ICC Associate league.

And when you add Wavell Hinds and Brenton Parchment, two current Jamaican and former West Indies players who were to appear for Caribbean Stars, the number of mouth watering clashes, set to explode in the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium and Brian Piccolo Park, created intense excitement among  the United States fan base.

WICB president Julian Hunte.

Indian national team sensations brothers Yusuf Pathan and Irfan Pathan were also down to represent Boom Boom CFCA Royals, but by the time they were forced to withdraw due to commitments at home, the  demand for a $15,000 sanctioning fee by the United States of America Cricket Association, made one day before the action got going,   extinguished the  luster for the series.    As a result the competition lost the West Indian stars also, who were threatened with bannings if they played in a non-sanctioned event, by none other than the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

Also, the confused United States national players, most of who were reluctant to play, because of being unsure about the implications, had to be persuaded to take the field by their respective club officials.

Those US players saved the competition when they decided to trust the judgement of their clubs and play, at the very last minute

For all its mouthings about support for United States cricket over the years, the Julian Hunte-led WICB administration showed that it is only willing to support entities that it was closely associated with, within the country.

And surely that cuddly relationship does not exist with Cricket Council USA, because its demand for the players to play only if the US Cricket Open was officially endorsed by USACA, rings hollow.

The WICB’s concern for the players’ welfare does not pass the litmus test because none of the players down to play in the competition are contracted to the Board.
Not Sarwan, not Deonarine, nor any of the others.

So the WICB’s action boggles the mind because if its desire for development of US cricket was authentic, it would’ve not put a spoke in the wheel of the biggest ever competition in the country.

Jeff Miller of Cricket Council USA. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

Moreso when those said players and many others have played over the years in this country in non USACA games without being penalized..

The big two-day exhibition series between the Brian Lara-led West Indies team and the USA All Stars in 2007 at Floyd Bennett Park, readily comes to mind.

For its part USACA allowed itself to be bullied by the WICB and could’ve been more lenient with CCUSA in a situation where no previous competition in the entire America needed sanctioning.

Moreso as Miller stated, he had written USACA since July indicating CCUSA’s intention to stage the competition and about necessary inputs it had to make.

If USACA had the best interests of cricket outside of its domain at heart in situations such as this one, it could’ve let the $15,000 fee slide and give sanction, and gradually implement its fee requirement for future competitions.

President Gladstone Dainty admitted that CCUSA was made aware of the fee required on the said day before the start of competition, and pointed out they were willing to listen to negotiations for a reduction.

But in the last- minute crush and confusion, how could one expect a one-man organizing show in Miller, have time to attend to mounting issues all at once.

As a result United States cricket suffered a big blow that could dent the enthusiasm of players and fans alike at a crucial time in the popularising of the, sport in the world’s biggest sports market.

The Steve Massiah led Chargers went on to win the competition, but it could’ve been a much more satisfying triumph with all the teams being at full strength, had better sense prevailed.

 

11 Comments

  1. Coach says:

    Well said Sam.

  2. Coach says:

    Help the media? Who is the media?

  3. Gentlemen: Why are at each other’s throats. I am sure that we all can find a rational way to get things done.

    First let me address the US Open. I was at Lauderhill to witness the tornament, firsthand. My initial feeling on hearing -on the morning of the first day – that the “international and national stars” would not take part, was one of disappointment.
    But once Jeff Miller and his staff “worked” things out, cricket won! It was a keenly contested tournament. Yes, I would agree that the level of play would have been more enhanced with the “bigger boys”. But, hey, we have darn good quality players here in the United States. Spectaotrs saw some very exciting cricket.
    USACA did blow its opportubity to lend its hands to one of the biggest – ifnot the biggest- Twenty 20 tournament in this country.What we can do at this stage is to “mend fences”. Whats done should be used as a lesson to us all as to how we should “act” in the future. WICB contributed to this mess as well as USACA. But continuing to point fingers will get no one anywhere.

    With regards to the PSAL tournament: I am the coach for Newcomers HS. Each coach is obligated to post the results of games withing 24 hours of the completion of the game. The PSAL website may not immediately present updates of games played, but the site IS updated. Numerous times I went on the site in the past to get info. on players and schools,etc.

    With regards to why PSAL does not post its info on the media. hey, wake up! I write for several media services. I AM at games which I report on, or if it is not possible to there in person, I make it my duty to contact someone who has the info I need to report on the gale(s). What I am saying is that media people should make themselves available at games. They should not depend on others to do their work for them.

  4. Coach says:

    Steven: There are rules, and laws that PSAL has in place. Permission must be granted in order to publish students info. on any websites. The last thing we need is someone criticizing our young student athletes. Oh, it has happened in the past.

  5. Steven says:

    How the hell did credit card came into play, are you that stupid. So you are saying that the media should go and take the scores from PSAL site. I have check the site, it is out dated, not organized, not all of the games are reported on there. The media is is trying to help the organization and cricket thats all. It wouldn’t hurt to help the media.

  6. Coach says:

    Everybody wants credit. This is the reason why our country is in this financial crisis, because of all those CREDIT cards…….. The schedule, scores, and results are usually on the PSAL website. http://www.PSAL.org

    Coaches are supposed to enter the info. on the PSAL website.

    Reporting scores, and summaries determine the level of organization?

  7. Steven says:

    Please don’t give an excuse to the most organized cricket tournament which is the PSAL. I am sure they are ways to get the reports, you can have one kid or the coach of that team to send in a summary, it takes 5 minutes to do a summary, it would do so much for the kids and more importantly PSAL. Hope PSAL is taking note.

  8. politicsfreecricket says:

    @ Steven, Shame on PSAL for not crediting any local media and website guys lets hope they give some credit this year.

  9. Uncle Sam says:

    Steven: Try to think about the number of matches that are played in the PSAL. I think that’s the major problem in US cricket, everyone is looking for credit. What about when things go wrong, are people stepping in front looking to take the blame?

    Politicsfreecricket: Many love the drama in US cricket. They all want to read about negativity. Sex sells, so does Rumors.

    Orin: How come you didn’t write an article about the team that won the US Cricket Open? Oh I forgot the most qualified coach in the US did not win the US Cricket Open. The coach gets credit for winning a major tournament, but players are blamed if they don’t win.

  10. Steven says:

    To Politicsfreecricket: is it that difficult for PSAL to have the schedule and scores sent to the different media, you guys should look at other organziation to see how things are done. I have gone to your finals and not once you guys credit any local media or the guys from this website.

  11. politicsfreecricket says:

    when is this reporter going to report something positive———–try reporting on HIGH SCHOOL CRICKET—-GOOD CLEAN CRICKET.