By Orville Hall
It was a packed scheduled for the ICC as President Alan Isaac, Chief Executive David Richardson and Global Development Manager Tim Anderson made the rounds of New York City to get a taste of USACA’s ongoing programme for developing the game of cricket in the USA. The team’s first stop was at Erskine Cricket Field in Brooklyn, where they witnessed the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) schools cricket competition.
Before the commencement of the game, ICC President Alan Isaac, on his first official visit to the USA, made a presentation to Ms. Lorna Austin, PSAL Cricket Coordinator, in recognition of her efforts in establishing the PSAL tournament in New York. The competition began a few years ago with 14 teams; today there are 28 teams, with 3 more teams waiting to join in 2014.
USACA CEO Mr. Darren Beazley also made a presentation to PSAL Cricket Commissioner, Mr. Bassett Thompson, in appreciation of his role in administering the New York City schools cricket program. Mr. Beazley has committed to working closely with the PSAL to further enhance the development of cricket in the New York City schools’ system. During his remarks, Mr. Beazley said;
“Today is a great moment for our game in America. We are privileged to have the ICC here in Brooklyn recognizing where it all begins, at the grass-roots level.” Mr. Beazley went on to thank the PSAL for a wonderful effort in developing cricket in the New York region. He concluded by saying;
“USACA is the body responsible for cricket development in this the USA. We intend to collaborate with the PSAL to compliment the work that they are doing and to provide the best opportunities for boys and girls in this Region to represent their school cricket, and someday in the future, may be even to represent the USA.”
After the visit to the cricket field, the ICC, along with 40 invited guests, including New York Regional Board Chairman Mr. Lester Hooper, attended a cocktail reception, where ICC President Alan Isaac addressed the gathering. He said; “The development of emerging markets is a major focus of the ICC as we strive to achieve our vision of cricket becoming a bigger, better game, and the USA is a key territory in this regard. The governing body for cricket in the USA (USACA) has a key role in leading and coordinating the national development of cricket.”
Mr. Isaac went on to say; “We are encouraged by the recent steps taken by USACA to improve its administration and governance structures. We are looking forward to working with you all to realize the significant potential of cricket in the USA.”
Mr. Isaac also commented that “T20 cricket is a short action-packed version of the game, and we think that’s a perfect fit for the North American market.”
Today will be another busy day for the ICC contingent, with a host of meetings and activities including a meeting with New York City Police Commissioner, Mr. Ray Kelly, to discuss the Department’s youth cricket initiatives.