By Orville Hall
When Lenny Archibald, Carl Bennett and Jamie Lloyd launched the inaugural program of Cricket Voice USA last night, one of its first guests was none other than Mr. Sunju Patel, President of the USA Friendship Cup T20. Patel spoke passionately about the idea behind the launching of such a competition, and thanked Maq Qureshi and Jeff Miller, along with Siva Narapareddy for getting the initial program up and running.
The first competition was held at the Central Broward Regional Cricket Stadium in Fort Lauderdale Florida, but this year the action moves to the Paul D. Rushing Park in Houston Texas with a three-day event which gets underway on April 11. When queried about the move, Patel said this was not an attempt to ditch the Fort Lauderdale stadium, but rather an opportunity for fans in other parts of the USA to get a chance to see some of the Internal stars in action.
There are currently 12 teams vying for the $20,000 prize money which the tournament will offer, but Patel said he would like to see the field dwindled down to about 6 teams, which would not only make the competition easier to manage, but would allow for a greater concentration of International players are US star players in those teams, and therefore peek a greater interest in fan participation. Patel was quick to praise the management team which is currently working on putting this year’s tournament together; Mr. Siva Narapareddy, Vice President and Mr. Orville Hall, Public Relations Manager.
At the conclusion of the interview, Patel congratulated the team at Cricket Voice USA for giving a national voice to cricket in the USA and beyond and pledged his support to help move this initiative forward.
Others featured on the program were Darren Beazley, CEO of the United States of America Cricket Association and Steve Massiah, former captain of the USA National team.