By Sham Ali
At a highly informative conference in the Big Apple, New York, BIG LEAGUE USA (BLUSA) CEO, Salman Ahmed, canvassed an impressive agenda for BIG LEAGUE USA’s vision and their firm intent in making a contribution in promoting cricket in the United States.
Mr. Ahmed cites that as they partnered with the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) they hope to assist in developing the game at the grassroots level by infusing an interest in the entertainment value with focus on the development of the commercial viability of the game in the USA. Those in attendance at function included members of the New York Region administration and the various leagues representatives, the President of BIG LEAGUE USA Mr. Shafquat Chaudhary along with Time Warner executive Mr. Robert Watson. The function was also graced by the presence of Clive Lloyd, one of West Indies greats and an iconic figure on the international cricket scene.
Clive Lloyd came to the function as a member of BIG LEAGUE USA advisory board. He brings with him a wealth of experience to the organization both as a cricketer and as an administrator, and if anything, his presence confirms that BLUSA is serious about their undertaking. In his brief, Lloyd reiterated that the United States has all the vital resources necessary for cricket to move in the right direction. The efficiency of ground and air transportation, the potential for more state of the art stadiums citing the newly built Lauderhill Cricket Stadium as a good start, the potential for better playing surfaces, the influx of cricketers from around the world, and the new wave of cricketers at the grassroots level, are factors that bodes well for the future development of the game in the United States. The venture is one that appears promising and BIG LEAGUE USA seems to be on the right path given their willingness to work closely with the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) for the betterment of cricket in the United States and their vested interest in the game at every level.
There have been many attempts in the past by well meaning organizations to infuse a spark into United States cricket with comprehensive plans such as BIG LEAGUE USA. However, those organizations ran into one hurdle after another with the USACA at the center of attraction and a major stumbling block to many of these ventures into US cricket. Whether the USACA’s was locked in protecting their territory with the fear of deminishing their power to other intities is a matter for conjecture. however, the progress of the USACA, or there lack of, over the last three decades has been that of a snails pace and a national organization littered with administrative fallings. that resulted in the USACA being suspended from the ICC and subsequently the national team has plunged into embarrassment on every stroke trying to survive on a breathing tube.
And, now that BIG LEAGUE USA is attempting to make a contribution to the game with extended hands to the national governing body, it will be interesting to see how receptive they, the USACA, will be to this marriage, if they would move in the direction to improve on their track record or if they are bent on going down the same old road.
BIG LEAGUE USA has already embarked on their venture quite successfully so far and CEO Salman Ahmed has been well received and quite engaging in his endeavor with the various cricket fraternities. One would only hope that the USACA will exercise the fortitude and show the cricket community across the length and breadth of the United States, once and for all, that they are committed to the cause of moving the game forward and give BIG LEAGUE USA as a ‘player’ the opportunity to stamp the United States ‘cricket seal’ on the international cricket map.