July 2009 - Posts
"Cricket is coming to Minnesota, and many of the sport's local followers
are hoping it attracts new fans. The USA Cricket Association's Western
Conference championship will be held Friday through Sunday at Bryn Mawr
Meadows Park in Minneapolis."
Read full article here -
"This is our defining moment for cricket in Minnesota," said Masaood
Yunus, vice president of the Minnesota Cricket Association. "This is
something for all people to enjoy. They can actually watch cricket here
rather than on television across the world."
By organising America's first professional cricket tournament, Mr Lockerbie said he was trying to make America "one of the top 15 cricket playing nations by 2015".
"[The planned tournament] is a very serious initiative and the chances [of it succeeding] are better than a 50-over tournament," he said.
FULL ARTICLE: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8175792.stm
By Peter Della Penna
One of America’s youngest and brightest talents is going to be on display this weekend at the USACA Western Conference Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn. Abhijit Joshi will represent the Central East Region and the 16-year old from the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Ill., already has quite a reputation.
“I really think that he is one of the standout young players in this country,” said Steve Massiah, captain of the USA Men’s National Team. “He’s a very level-headed young man. To be quite honest, I’m a big fan of his and I have a lot of expectations for him.”
Joshi flew onto the world cricket radar in 2008 with some jaw-dropping performances at the CLICO International U-15 Cricket Championships in the West Indies. Joshi was one of two Americans selected in a team representing the Americas region, which also included players from Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas, against teams from Kenya, Netherlands, Ireland, Malaysia, West Indies, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
While the Americas team finished dead last, Joshi was fifth overall in runs scored at the tournament, including four half-centuries in only six innings, as he finished behind two players each from the West Indies and Pakistan. The two teams wound up being the champions and runner-up in the tournament respectively and all four batsmen ahead of him played in two more matches than Joshi.
Pic: Abhijit Joshi
His class stood out most against Pakistan. While Americas was bowled out for 123 and lost by 293 runs, Joshi posted his highest score of the tournament with a 70 opening the batting for the Americas. The next best score from any of his teammates was 8.
One would think that Joshi must have been born with a cricket bat in his hand much like Wayne Gretzky was playing with an ice hockey stick before he could walk. Not exactly, says his father Chidambar. Joshi senior is the Youth Development Coordinator for the Central East Region, but according to him, Abhijit’s development began with a moment of serendipity.
Abhijit was born in Bangalore, India, and was brought to America when he was only five months old, so he didn’t really grow up around cricket. A family friend from India bought Chidambar a set of toy stumps and a cricket kit for Abhijit to use, but they were gathering dust in America until one day fate intervened when the boy was seven years old.
“Somebody gifted us this kit thinking that he will like it,” said Chidambar. “After coming here for awhile, I stopped playing cricket and I had put the kit in the closet. One day, Abhijit was feeling very bored and he didn’t know what to do.” So he took Abhijit to the closet and started digging around for ideas until they found a piece of buried treasure. “I suddenly saw that kit and I asked him, would you like to try cricket and he said why not. Then we went and started playing outside and the kids outside watching us, they came. They happened to be Indian kids as well. Before I knew it those boys parents came and joined.”
In 2002, Chidambar co-founded the Cricket Sporting Academy in Chicago to create more opportunities for the youth of the area to get involved in the game. But before those opportunities were available, Abhijit kept himself busy playing soccer, tennis and table tennis.
He was particularly skilled at table tennis, winning a title at a Killerspin event in Chicago. Killerspin is one of the biggest table tennis equipment manufacturers in America and is headquartered in Chicago. According to the USA Table Tennis web site, Joshi has a career record of 29-11 in major tournaments. His best performance came at the Schaumberg (Ill.) RR Open in February of 2004, where he went 11-0.
“Anything with a bat and ball that required hand-eye coordination, he was always very good,” said Chidambar. But it didn’t take too long to decide that the bat and ball game Abhijit loves most is cricket.
“I think cricket 24/7, I breathe it, everything I do is for cricket,” said Joshi. “I eat for cricket. I sleep for cricket. I wake up, I work out for cricket. Everything is for cricket.” Joshi gradually scaled back on the other sports to focus his time on cricket, training with his father at the CSA and it has paid off.
He was the captain of Team USA’s U-15 squad last year at the ICC Americas U-15 Tournament in Bermuda, where the team finished second to Canada. Joshi was first selected to the Central East Region U-19 squad as a 13-year old in 2006 and worked his way up to become captain of the squad this past May at the National U-19 Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. His performances earned him selection as a First Team All-American and a trip to Toronto for the ICC Americas U-19 Regional Qualifier in the beginning of July where the USA once again finished second to Canada.
“I think Abhijit has a lot of potential,” said Akhtar Masood “Chik” Syed, Representative for the Central East Region on the USACA Board of Directors. “He is a very good cricketer. I think we are really fortunate in the Central East Region that we’ve got this kid. This kid’s going to be going all the way. His technique and his devotion to the game, you should see the guy plays six, seven days a week in his basement and in the winter, summer, rain, he never misses practice. He has a very good cricket mind.”
Pic: Abhijit Joshi with Brian Lara during the Clico World Cup tourney
After meeting him in person and watching him play, one gets to know that Joshi’s handshake is as strong as his pull shot. He is a big and well built teenager at 5’9” and is still growing. Part of that growth in cricket was visiting his roots to improve his game. In 2007, Joshi attended a camp in India at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore which served to accelerate his cricketing education.
“I learned a lot from the coaches,” said Joshi, “My fitness level increased because you’d run every day, long distances, short sprints, everything we did. My batting too, I worked on my patience a lot there. I played a lot of games there and the coach taught me patience and to stay at the wicket.”
Despite all of Joshi’s success, his parents hardly ever get to see him play because they are still busy raising his six-year old brother Aditya, not to mention being tied up with their work commitments. This makes it just about impossible to travel long distances around the country and the world to follow him in tournaments, which at first made his mother uneasy.
“A couple of years back I was slightly scared to send him alone and all that, but now I’ve gotten used to this,” said Radha Joshi, his mother. “I know that he can manage everything very well on his own.”
According to Chidambar though, even when their son is close by and playing local cricket for Youngsters CC in the American Cricket Conference, they are reluctant to come by because they are superstitious about affecting his play.
“Every time here locally whenever my wife came to see, we’d keep hearing about Abhijit, we thought let’s go see,” said Chidambar. “Every time she walks into the field he is getting out or he gets out next ball. So she’d say, ‘I don’t believe any of you. I don’t think he’s a good player. Every time we get here he gets out!’”
True to their word, they stayed home this past weekend and Joshi scored a century for Youngsters to be in good form heading into the USACA Western Conference Tournament in Minneapolis. Joshi finished with 121 off only 81 balls vs. Naper United. He is looking forward to testing himself against some of the best players in the nation and giving himself an opportunity to stamp his authority once more after some missed opportunities with the USA U-19 squad in Toronto earlier this month.
“I got one chance in the first game. I didn’t do too well. I got a good start but I threw away my wicket,” said Joshi, referring to his 29 in the first match of the ICC Americas U-19 Regional Qualifier against Bahamas. “Hopefully, I look forward to getting more chances and making the US proud and helping the team out.” With cricket growing day by day in the United States, Joshi will definitely get plenty of opportunities to make his country proud. The captain of the national team is by him 100 percent.
“I think he has a good head for the game and he has a very, very solid technique,” said Massiah. “Most importantly, he keeps it simple and for his age he seems to understand his game very well. I really do expect for him in the future to go on and achieve great things for this country.”
Pictures appear courtesy of Chidambar Joshi
By Peter Simunovich
Don Lockerbie, the CEO of the US Cricket Association, has revealed
that two major cities in the US have approached him to get information
on what they need to do to attract top cricket playing countries and
International Cricket Conference approved tournaments.
The information they wanted, he said, was related to the size of
fields, seating, turf wickets, accommodation, nets and practice areas.
cities, said Lockerbie, realized the potential growth and popularity of
cricket at level and how it would benefit the local economy and create
part time work. “I am not trying to be evasive,” said Lockerbie. “I
just can’t name them at the moment.”
It is all in the early stages and he did not want to provide any other information until firm decisions are made.
“They (the two cities) recognize how important and what an attraction the top teams will be when they play here,” he said.
Over the past month, Lockerbie has had conversations and
correspondence with five full members of the ICC about playing the US
national team in a T20 competition in late April next year as a lead up
to the ICC World T20 tournament in the Caribbean, beginning in late
April next year.
Each of the countries, which he would not name, have shown
“tremendous interest,” he told DreamCricket.com in an interview, and
were waiting for formal invitations, which, he said, would be sent out
next week. There have also been discussions with the Marylebone
Cricket Club (MCC) about playing here. This may include former Test
Lockerbie said it was still early to discuss what format the event would be played if countries accepted invitations from USACA.
He said the US has not yet qualified for the World T20 tournament
and to do this the US must finish in the top two of an ICC T20
qualifying event in Dubai beginning in October this year before making
the trip to the Caribbean.
If the US qualifies and, say, three nations accept invitations to
play the tournament it could turn into a four-team competition where
teams would play each other twice. Lockerbie said that countries who
decided to play here could also use the USA tour as a training camp for
the World T20 tournament.
The matches probably would be played at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Lockerbie said the matches in Florida would all have the endorsement of the ICC.
“We are trying to be a good member and offer the top cricket playing
countries the opportunity to provide competition for the US national
team,” he said.
If everything falls into place then it would be the first time that
a full member country of the ICC would play on US soil for the first
time in a meaningful match against the US national team.
“A lot of things have to be sorted out,” said Lockerbie, “but we
have made it clear that we are in the neighborhood and are absolutely
hungry for first class competition and to help promote the game in the
It would also give the US national team a taste of world class
competition and what is required to perform on the field against the
best in cricket.
Asked what the chances were for the event to get the go ahead as a
lead up to the ICC World T20 tournament in the Caribbean, he said: “It
is a very serious initiative and the chances are better than 50-50.”
He added: “In some places these games (if they happen) will be treated as warm up games, but it is history making.”
By Peter Della Penna
The USACA Eastern Conference Tournament in Washington, D.C., which took
place from July 17-19, threw up a wild mix of on field performances and
off the field obstacles, combining the strange with the sublime over
the course of the weekend.
Speaking on the occasion, Gladstone Dainty, the President of USACA,
called the weekend a great success. “We had some good performances,”
said Dainty. “We achieved our objectives and we got an opportunity to
see a lot of good cricketers perform.”
Gladstone Dainty interview from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
New York Region was bowled out for 119 and lost by 5 wickets in
their first match on Saturday, but came back to win their final two
games by 9 wickets each to earn the tournament title. Steve Massiah,
the captain of the New York Region and the US National Team, finished
as the leading run scorer in the tournament with 151 runs in three
innings while only getting out once.
“I must thank my teammates for the wonderful support over the last
three days because we basically came from third place to number one and
that’s a great accomplishment,” said Massiah after New York defeated
the Atlantic Region on Sunday to win the title on run rate. New York
got major contributions from several players including Glen Hall, who
scored a century in the team’s victory over the Director’s XI on
Saturday. On Sunday, Kevin Darlington won the Man of the Match award
for his top order demolition of the Atlantic team, finishing with 3 for
16 as Atlantic was bowled out for 82. This followed up on his 4 for 35
against South East on Friday.
South East, who finished as the runner-up due to the tiebreaker of
net run rate, even though they had the same record as New York and beat
them on Friday, also had some brilliant performances. Captain Nasir
“Charlie” Javed finished as the leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
Timroy Allen took both Man of the Match awards for each South East
victory. On Friday against New York he took 4 for 28 and scored 13* to
finish the match while on Sunday he took one wicket and finished 39* as
part of a match-winning 88 run eighth wicket partnership with Anand
Tummala in South East’s victory over Director’s XI by 2 wickets.
Finishing second has left them hungry to come to Houston for the USACA
National Championship in October gunning for the title.
“We learned a few lessons here as a team and as an individual I did
learn a couple of lessons,” said Tummala, who finished with 3 wickets
and 113 runs, including one half-century in the tourney. “I think
cricket is a game which makes an individual make mistakes. The fewer
mistakes you make, the better cricketer you are. So I’ll try and
minimize the mistakes, what happened here. As a team I think we are
gelling really well and I’m sure we will be a force to be reckoned with
Atlantic went from being 2-0 and in the driver’s seat to win the
title on Sunday to a third place finish after the loss to New York.
However, Gowkaran Roopnarine’s 70 in 79 balls against South East was
one of the most scintillating innings of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Director’s XI squad gave an opportunity for some of
the top youth players on the east coast to test themselves against some
of the nation’s best. The team, comprised mostly of Under-19 players,
put up some respectable efforts in the tournament against three teams
that had at least 11 current or former players on the US National Team
playing for the regional squads, including six for New York. This made
18-year old Azurdeen “Andy” Mohammed’s century against the New York
squad on Saturday all the more impressive.
“I thought we’ve played against some pretty decent players but young
Mohammed played a great innings yesterday,” said Massiah. “I mean for
someone his age, and I mean we have a pretty experienced attack, and he
batted brilliantly. I think his innings over the last three days stood
It wasn’t all fun and games though. Before and during the
tournament, there were definitely some issues which were a cause for
First was the fact that the North East Region pulled out of the
event only days before it was supposed to begin. According to an
official from USACA, the North East Region couldn’t come up with a
budget necessary to finance a team to send to Washington, D.C. As a
result, the Director’s XI squad was pulled together at the last minute
- an opportunity that the young boys utilized
The lunches for the first two days of the tournament were brought to
the grounds more than an hour after the scheduled innings/lunch break
for the matches. But according to the President Dainty, that didn’t
mean the lunches were late. “The lunch was supposed to be at four
o’clock. It got here around four o’clock. I don’t know that they had a
set time for lunch.”
When pressed further as to why the lunches were scheduled to be
ready from the caterers at 4 o’clock when 50 overs would be done at
around 2:30 p.m. for each match, Dainty maintained his position. “I
don’t know. I just brought the lunch when it’s supposed to be here. I
don’t know. So what you’re saying there is news to me. We had a pretty
good idea. We told the restaurant when we wanted it and I went and
picked it up and that’s it.”
Most of the players were left frustrated with the circumstances, not
to mention being out of energy. In the Atlantic vs. South East match on
Saturday, the innings break started at 3 p.m. while lunch arrived at
around 4:30. As a result, the first drinks break in the second innings
lasted about 20-25 minutes so the players could eat, even though an
official lunch break had already been taken in between innings.
South East was playing the tournament without the participation of any
players from the Georgia Supreme Cricket League (GSCL) even though a
team of the best players from the GSCL won the South East Region
Inter-League tournament. It remains to be seen if a full strength side
will be sent from the South East to the USACA National Championship in
The on field behavior of some of the teams was also questionable,
with prolonged and intimidating appeals directed towards the umpires
which did not go down well with several USACA representatives who were
present. The nadir was the five run penalty awarded to South East to
end the final match of the tournament against Director’s XI because of
wicketkeeper Carl Monroe’s use of “obscene language” despite several
warnings to stop, according to umpires Nelson Hutchinson and George
Richards. But most people agreed it was not the way a match should be
decided, including the players from South East.
“I’m sure the umpire must have given them a few warnings before he
took the decision of penalizing them with five runs,” said Tummala.
“That’s not the right way to decide the game, especially for a young
team, but I’m sure the quality of umpiring, what we’ve had in the last
few days has been exceptionally good… There must have been something
really bad out there which forced the umpires to take this kind of
decision. That’s not the right way, that’s not how this great game of
cricket should be decided, but discipline, there has to be a barometer
that has to be followed.”
The fan support got bigger over the course of the weekend, but
overall, it was not very high. However, that was not really of an
immediate concern to Dainty before the weekend began.
“To tell you the truth, our focus has really not been about
turnout,” said Dainty. “It’s about presenting the players with an
opportunity to play a higher level of cricket. In terms of the fans and
marketing for fans, I have no way of calculating or predicting because
that was not a focus in terms of putting this together. We want to have
tournaments where very good players are competing against each other.”
However, by the end of the weekend, Dainty was very hopeful that
when the overall quality of play rises in America, as it has been over
the past year with the organization of more competitive tournaments,
the fans will start to come.
“Well I think that good cricket, we need to have good cricket more
frequently,” said Dainty during a separate interview at the conclusion
of the tournament. “Cricket people are connoisseurs. They understand
the game. They know the game. If you present them with an inferior
product, it turns them off. But I think that over the past few days,
the word was spreading.”
Hopefully, the word is spreading to Minneapolis. The USACA Western
Conference Tournament will be featuring more of the best talent in the
United States. The South West, North West, Central West and Central
East will be competing with the top two finishers joining New York and
South East in Houston this October. A good blend of youth and
experience will be on hand, just as it was in Washington, D.C. Several
stars will be in attendance from the U-19 and senior levels and by
having the tournament in Minneapolis, USACA is hoping to spread the
game and bring awareness to cricket outside of the major centers of the
Western Conference like Chicago and Los Angeles.
The South West will feature Aditya Thyagarajan, who is a regular
member of the US National Team, while the Central West has selected
Ryan Corns in their squad. Corns was one of the stars of the U-19
National Tournament over Memorial Day weekend in Brooklyn, N.Y. and
continued to showcase his dazzling all-round skills for Team USA’s U-19
squad at the ICC Americas U-19 Regional Qualifier in Toronto at the
start of July.
The complete awards presentation ceremony of the USACA Eastern Conference Tournament 2009 from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
By Peter Della Penna
New York Region demolished the undefeated Atlantic Region by 9
wickets, their second 9 wicket victory in a row, to become the USACA
Eastern Conference tournament champions. South East Region finished
second after defeating Director’s XI by 2 wickets in what was an
extraordinary string of events on the final day’s play.
“Our main objective today was to win and win big,” said New York
captain Steve Massiah. “I thought the guys rose to the occasion.
Darlington was brilliant up front and was ably supported by everyone
else. It was a total team effort. I must thank my teammates for the
wonderful support over the last three days because we basically came
from third place to number one and that’s a great accomplishment.”
The Atlantic Region won the toss against New York and elected to bat
first at Chillum Park on a bright and sunny Sunday morning. However,
things turned dark and gloomy immediately as Gowkaran Roopnarine played
on to Kevin Darlington four balls into the match to make it 1/1.
Darlington and Massiah Post Match Interview vs. Atlantic from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
From there, the downward spiral was fast and furious. Siddharth
Mehta came in next and was run out trying to pinch a single to square
leg. Barrington Bartley threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end
to see Mehta gone for 9 making it 15/2.
The score reached 23 when four more wickets fell for seven runs. Aditya
Mishra was caught behind by Akeem Dodson off Darlington while Charan
Singh lasted seven balls before driving Dennison Thomas to Glen Hall at
cover for a duck. Claine Williams was Darlington’s third wicket, once
again caught behind by Dodson for 6.
“My mindset was to bowl that good line and length, try to hit the top
of off stump and let the ball do the rest,” said Darlington. “This
wicket is a pretty placid one and there’s not much room for error. So I
just tried to keep the ball close to the top of off stump and that did
it for me today.”
Two balls later, Muhammad Yousuf tried to get off the mark with a quick
single but was run out by Hall, swooping in from midwicket and firing a
direct hit to the non-striker’s end for another bagel in the Atlantic
Kiran Patel was next as he was caught behind by Dodson off George Adams
for 6 to make it 42/7. Atlantic then put on 24 runs for the eighth
wicket, their biggest partnership of the innings, as Muhammad Asad
Ghous and Durale Forest tried to breathe life into the innings. But New
York continued to suffocate Atlantic and eventually Forest was bowled
by the spin of Bartley for 22. Imran Awan struck back to back fours
before being out next ball to Adams for 8 as he edged one to Dodson for
the keeper’s fourth dismissal.
Adrian Gordon came in and hit a four to get off the mark, but the
innings ended when Ghous chipped Bartley to Lennox Cush at midwicket
for 12 as Atlantic was bowled out for 82 in 27.3 overs. Ghous and
Forest were the only two to cross double figures but even Forest got
help as he was bowled off a Thomas no-ball on eight, then bowled again
on the free hit which followed.
New York made short work of the target. Glen Hall came out and smashed
two fours and a six to get to 15 off six balls. On ball number seven,
he received a neck high full toss that he tried pulling but dragged
onto his stumps. However, neither umpire signaled no-ball and Hall had
to go to make it 18/1.
Massiah then joined Dennis Evans and the two set about putting on a
batting exhibition with some elegant strokeplay. The covers and fine
leg were the favored areas, especially as Atlantic captain Awan refused
to put a fine leg in place despite bowling a consistently wayward line
into the legs of the New York batsmen with eight men on the off side.
New York reached the target in 9.1 overs as Evans finished not out on
22 and Massiah remained unbeaten on 38. Darlington was named Man of the
Match for his three wicket burst at the start of play.
Over at William Wirt Field, the youthful mix in Director’s XI put up a
lionhearted effort against South East posting 199 in 44 overs. However,
experience proved too much in the end as Anand Tummala and Timroy
Allen’s 88 run eighth wicket stand helped win the match for South East
by 2 wickets. The winning runs were awarded when the umpires signaled
five penalty runs. The two officials, Nelson Hutchinson and George
Richards, gave the five penalty runs claiming that Director’s XI
wicketkeeper Carl Monroe “used obscene language.”
Allen and Tummala Post Match Interview vs. Director's XI from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
Director’s XI had their chances though. After Vaibhav “Ricky” Nayar
fell to make it 96/6 in the 21st over, Director’s looked to be in the
driver’s seat. However, a costly missed stumping chance came back to
haunt Director’s XI in the final result.
Akhil Sehgal was bowling to Anand Tummala on the last ball of the 25th
over with the score on 110/6. Tummala danced down the track and tried
to hit him through the off side but was beaten in flight. Monroe
collected the ball cleanly, but he fanned the stumps while swinging his
arms around to break the bails. By the time his second effort
connected, Tummala had his bat back in the crease. Tummala was on 9 at
Rasheed had Ken Singh out clean bowled for 10 three balls later to
bring Allen to the crease. Allen was on 2 in the 29th over with the
score 116/7 when he sent a half volley from Kavishwar Bridgepaul in the
air straight to mid off at chest height. It went right through the
fielder’s hands and all the way to the boundary.
Allen and Tummala then settled down and took the match away from
Director’s XI by playing smart cricket and rotating the strike against
the spin of Rasheed, Keon Lake and Andy Mohammed.
Tummala was finally out for 50 with the score at 198/8 after he top
edged a pull shot off Sehgal and Monroe waited for the ball to come
down behind the stumps. Tummala had just crossed the boundary walking
off the field when all of a sudden the entire Director’s XI squad
followed him off with Allen, who finished not out on 39.
“They didn’t say anything as such when we were batting,” said Tummala.
“But when we heard that we got five penalty runs I was relieved because
I was intending to be there until the last run was scored and come out
Rasheed Post Match Interview vs. South East from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
After the match, Director’s XI coach Mahadeo Ajodhi implied that
Monroe swore at himself in frustration for missing the stumping chance
that led to an extra 41 runs for Tummala and that is where the “obscene
language” was heard by the umpires.
“Well the players were talking to themselves,” said Director’s XI coach
Mahadeo Ajodhi. “I was outside, I don’t know what happened inside, but
it still had no outcome on the game. I think the game should be played.
The kid was saying that he didn’t say the bad word to anybody. He was
mad between himself. He did not direct it at anybody and the umpire
overheard that and that’s what the penalty was he said.”
Coach Mahadeo Ajodhi Post Match Interview vs. South East from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
The day’s results saw a three-way tie for first place created at 2-1
between Atlantic, New York and South East. New York was announced
tournament champion with a superior net run rate and South East named
runner-up. Atlantic, who came into the day undefeated, was placed third
and as a result will be left out of the USACA National Championships in
Houston this October. Director’s XI failed to win a match despite some
superb individual performances over the weekend.
USACA Eastern Conference Tournament Unofficial Scorecard
New York vs. Atlantic
New York won by 9 wickets
Atlantic won the toss and batted
Man of the Match: Kevin Darlington
Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s Dismissal
G Roopnarine 0 3 0 0 bowled Darlington
A Mishra 8 10 2 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Darlington
S Mehta 9 8 2 0 run out (Bartley)
C Williams 6 13 1 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Darlington
C Singh 0 7 0 0 ct Hall bowled Thomas
D Forest 22 49 2 0 bowled Bartley
M Yousuf 0 2 0 0 run out (Hall)
K Patel 4 15 0 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Adams
MA Ghous 12 46 0 0 ct Cush bowled Bartley
I Awan 8 5 2 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Adams
A Gordon 4 6 1 0 not out
Total Extras 9
Team Total 82 all out in 27.3 overs
New York Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
K Darlington 7-1-16-3
G Adams 9-1-38-2
D Thomas 8-0-21-1
B Bartley 3.3-1-5-2
New York Batting
Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s Dismissal
D Evans 22 20 3 0 not out
G Hall 15 7 2 1 bowled Gordon
S Massiah 38 29 6 0 not out
Total Extras 8
Team Total 83/1 in 9.1 overs
By Peter Della Penna
The New York Region had a long day today culminating in a 5 wicket
defeat to the South East Region on the first day of the USACA Eastern
Conference Tournament, held in the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C.
After a five hour drive for the team on the morning of the match, New
York appeared sluggish, getting off to a poor start as wickets fell at
a breakneck pace before they were bowled out for 119 at William Wirt
Patel and Allen of South East Post Match Interview vs. NY from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
“It’s part and parcel of the game,” said New York captain Steve
Massiah. “If you play enough cricket, these things are going to happen.
I thought today was just a collapse. Hopefully, we can learn from this
and we can regroup and hopefully win the next two games.”
New York was struggling at 30/3 in the 13th over before Massiah
orchestrated a fightback with Rashard Marshall to give New York some
hope. They added 42 for the fourth wicket, by far the largest
partnership of the innings for New York. It ended when Timroy Allen
beat Massiah with a short ball that kept low and took out the leg
stump. Massiah was gone for 25 and from there New York lost their final
six wickets for 47 runs as Allen took another three and threw down the
stumps to have Dwayne Smith run out.
However, New York was not going down without a fight. Kevin Darlington
took four wickets in four overs as South East was left reeling at 25/4
in the 7th over. But the lunch break was taken after the 8th over and
afterwards Darlington came out flat and his teammates didn’t give him
any support bowling or in the field. New York’s fielding was atrocious
as at least 15 runs were given away through misfields, drops and
overthrows. It took the pressure off of Man of the Match Patel, who
steadied the ship as he guided his squad to the two biggest
partnerships of the match. He put on 48 for the 5th wicket with Anand
Tummala and finished with an unbeaten 6th wicket stand of 47 with Allen
to finish the match.
“I was just trying to stay there as long as I could,” said Patel. Patel
finished 53* in 68 balls with five 4s and one 6. South East reached the
target in the 25th over as the winning run was scored off a wide. It
was a microcosm of the wayward day for New York.
“If we are going to go on to the national championship, we need to win
the next two games,” said Massiah. “It’s pretty much straightforward.
We need to win and we need to win big.” New York will take on Directors
XI at Chillum Park on Saturday.
Meanwhile over at Chillum Park in Hyattsville, Maryland, the Atlantic
Region put in a complete team performance in taking out the Directors
XI today by 3 wickets. Aditya Mishra was named Man of the Match after
he top scored for Atlantic Region with 49 as they chased down the
Directors XI’s 174 in 37 overs. Directors XI made it interesting with a
late flurry of wickets, but in the end the Atlantic Region proved their
“I personally was kicking myself for getting out with 49 and leaving
the team with what happened in the end,” said Mishra, who had five 4s
in his knock. “I think it’s a lesson for all of us. I was very
confident that we were gonna see it through, but losing 7 wickets
chasing 174, I don’t think the game should have ended that way. But
we’ve gotta learn from our mistakes so hopefully tomorrow we’ll do much
Singh and Mishra Atlantic Post Match Interview vs. Directors XI from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
The Atlantic Region will take on the South East in the feature game
tomorrow at William Wirt Field. Both matches are scheduled to get
underway at 11 a.m.
USACA Eastern Conference Unofficial Scorecards
South East vs. New York
South East won by 5 wickets
New York won toss and batted
Man of the Match: Japen Patel
New York Batting
Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s Dismissal
D Evans 1 11 0 0 ct Sahadeo+ bowled Tummala
G Hall 5 19 0 0 ct Nidumkkala bowled Tummala
S Massiah © 25 46 3 0 bowled Allen
L Cush 9 17 0 0 LBW Singh
R Marshall 17 20 3 0 ct Tummala bowled Javed
A Dodson+ 7 12 1 0 ct Nidumkkala bowled Allen
D Thomas 6 9 0 0 c & b Javed
K Ganesh 5 15 0 0 ct Patel bowled Allen
D Smith 4 15 0 0 runout (Allen)
A Kirton 2 4 0 0 not out
K Darlington 7 11 1 0 LBW Allen
Total Extras 31
Team Total 119 in 31 overs
South East Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
K Singh 9-1-42-1
A Tummala 9-2-21-2
T Allen 7-1-28-4
N Javed 6-0-21-2
South East Batting
Batsman Runs Ball 4s 6s Dismissal
R Srikanth 0 6 0 0 ct+ Dodson bowled Darlington
T Surujbally 1 4 0 0 bowled Darlington
H Nidumkkala 17 16 1 1 bowled Darlington
V Nayar 0 11 0 0 LBW Darlington
J Patel 53 68 5 1 not out
A Tummala 17 28 0 0 run out (Kirton)
T Allen 13 14 2 0 not out
N Javed ©
Total Extras 19
Team Total 120 in 24.3 overs
New York Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
K Darlington 9-1-35-4
D Thomas 5-1-35-0
L Cush 6-1-9-0
D Smith 3-0-19-0
S Massiah 1-0-10-0
D Evans .3-0-3-0
Atlantic vs. Directors XI
Atlantic won by 3 wickets
Man of the Match: Aditya Mishra
Directors XI Batting
Batsman Runs 4s 6s Dismissal
A Mohammed 0 0 0 ct ? bowled Awan
C Monroe 3 0 0 ct ? bowled Gordon
B Ajodhi 20 2 0 ct ? bowled Amin
G Sewdial 24 3 0 run out
J Rasheed 5 0 0 ct ? bowled Forest
R Burton 23 2 0 ct ? bowled Mehta
A Bhatti 12 2 0 ct ? bowled Forest
K Bridgepaul 20 4 0 ct ? bowled Mehta
R James 29 1 1 not out
A Sehgal 2 0 0 ct ? bowled Patel
A Ajodhi 6 1 0 ct ? bowled Patel
Total Extras 40
Team Total 174 in 46.2 overs
Atlantic Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
I Awan 9-2-42-1
A Gordon 8-1-25-1
D Forest 10-1-36-2
R Amin 5-0-30-1
S Mehta 8-0-31-2
K Patel 6.2-3-6-2
Batsman Runs 4s 6s Dismissal
R Gowkaran 22 2 1 bowled Bridgepaul
A Mishra 49 5 0 st ? bowled Sehgal
S Mehta 10 2 0 ct ? bowled James
C Singh 34 5 0 ct ? bowled Sehgal
C Williams 4 0 0 bowled Rasheed
K Patel 1 0 0 ct ? bowled Sehgal
K Baride 9 2 0 ct ? bowled Mohammed
D Forest 15 1 0 not out
I Awan 4 1 0 not out
Total Extras 30
Team Total 178 in 37 overs
Directors XI Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
K Bridgepaul 4-0-33-1
A Ajodhi 1-0-9-0
A Bhatti 2-0-15-0
R James 3-0-17-1
J Rasheed 10-1-17-1
R Burton 2-0-13-0
A Mohammed 6-0-39-1
A Sehgal 9-0-30-3
By Peter Della Penna
Last week’s strong second place showing at the ICC Americas U-19
Regional Qualifier in Toronto was a huge step for Team USA. They are
now only one step away from making the U-19 World Cup next February in
New Zealand for the first time since 2006. Team USA finished 4-1 at the
Regional Qualifier with their only loss coming to tournament champion
Despite not participating in the 2008 U-19 World Cup, Team USA has big
expectations heading into the Global Qualifier that will take place in
Toronto from September 1-13. Team USA only needs to finish in the top
six of 10 teams to qualify for the U-19 World Cup, but that isn’t
enough for Coach Sew Shivnaraine.
“My goal is to win it and I guarantee that we are gonna win it,” said
Shivnaraine. “I think the boys are aware of what’s wrong, why we lost
against Canada. The Canadian players were getting into these guys
minds…. Now they realize that when they go back in September, they’re
not gonna play with their heads any more.” The coach isn’t the only one
brimming with confidence. His players are backing him up as well.
“I think if you look at the talent on the team, we should have come in
first actually,” said Henry Wardley who finished as the second highest
run scorer in the event behind the tournament MVP, Canada’s Hiral
Patel. “We were more talented than Canada. It’s just we choked on the
day and their tactics beat us.”
Team USA U-19 captain Shiva Vashishat echoed the sentiments of Coach
Shivnaraine, that there was a silver lining from the defeat to Canada.
“The loss against Canada helped us a lot because it was the first time
we faced pressure,” said Vashishat. “Overall, we all played together.
We’re gonna be a better team for the next time we come around for the
The team arrived in Canada on Wednesday July 1, five days before the
start of the tournament to get some crucial practice on turf wickets.
With the lack of turf wicket facilities available in the United States,
most club matches are played on matting or artificial wickets. As a
result, many of the players were going to be playing on turf for the
first time and the adjustment was going to be a key factor in the
success or failure of the team in the tournament. Team USA’s top order
batting was excellent, particularly the contributions from Wardley,
Azurdeen “Andy” Mohammed, Ryan Corns, Vashishat and Gregory Sewdial.
However, the middle and lower order struggled, particularly against
spin bowling. While Team USA overall performed admirably on the wickets
at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in King City, Ontario, Coach Shivnaraine
feels there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“I think they should have a lot of batting practice,” said Shivnaraine.
“I’ve noticed with spin bowling, they were having problems playing spin
bowling. Remember they’re not used to the turf. That’s one of the
reasons the batting didn’t explode as usual. If you play on the mat,
you’ll have a lot of guys make a lot of runs.”
The bowling however was superb, particularly the spin bowling. Yash
Shah led the way for Team USA with 8 wickets in four games and finished
as the third highest wicket taker in the tournament behind two other
spinners. Chris Douglas of Bermuda finished with 14 in five games and
was named the tournament’s Best Bowler. Orlando Stuart of the Bahamas
had 11 in five matches as well. According to the Tournament Director
Martin Vieira, the ICC Americas Regional Development Manager, the
weather was a factor in why spin bowling dominated the event.
“The weather was probably the biggest concern, not only during the
tournament but leading up to the tournament because it’s been a very
wet summer in Toronto,” said Vieira. “The groundspeople had a very
difficult job in getting the wickets prepared. If there was one
negative thing about it, it might be the wickets were probably on the
slow side. But overall I think the tournament went well.”
Shah’s performance was all the more impressive considering he wasn’t
even in the original 14 man squad. He was called in as a last minute
replacement for Saqib Saleem.
“I found out on Monday evening and my ticket was on Thursday,” said
Shah who had to join the team a day later than the rest of the squad.
“I had Yash in the team, but when the team selection committee only had
to select 14, then he was the odd man out,” said Shivnaraine. “But I
realized that in the 14, if one of the guys wasn’t going, Yash was the
next man in line because he really bowled well in the trials. Getting
him [to Toronto] was a godsend because his performance was so good. It
was unbelievable how he bowled for a little man.”
Shah was very well supported by Corns, Muhammad Asad Ghous, Mohammed
and Vashishat in the spin department, while the pacemen Naseer Jamali
and Salman Ahmad were solid if unspectacular with the new ball.
“Our batting is our strength,” said Shah. “We have batsmen to number
nine. Our bowling, especially the spin bowling also has been doing very
good and pacers are doing extremely well in the beginning overs as
well. Overall it’s a great team we have.”
The fielding was noteworthy as well. Wardley and vice-captain Sewdial
each had four catches. Sewdial was given the award for the tournament’s
Best Fielder. In the match against Bermuda, Sewdial pulled off three
stunning catches to help turn the tide in Team USA’s favor.
The team was led very well by captain Vashishat. While most of the
players were playing under him for the first time, the performance of
the team showed how fast he picked up on how to get the best out of his
“I knew he was a very talented captain,” said Wardley. “Whenever we
needed someone to perform, he would pretty much perform. Under pressure
situations, like in the field against Bermuda and against Canada, he
always made the right decisions.”
“Heading into the tournament, my main goal was to get to know everyone,
get to know their strengths, weaknesses and play together as a team,”
said Vashishat. Coach Shivnaraine was pleased with the way Vashishat
accomplished this goal.
“He’s a fantastic guy,” said Shivnaraine. “He listens. We make plans
before the game and he always listens to our plans and he works with
that. I don’t have to tell him from outside what to do. That’s the good
thing about Shiva. Shiva has a lot of experience captaining teams.”
One other thing that Coach Shivnaraine has spoken to the team about is
sportsmanship. Overall, Team USA demonstrated exemplary behavior on and
off the field. However, there were two incidents that the coach was not
happy with. In one match, a Team USA bowler attempted to run out the
batsman at the non-striker’s end after he had entered his delivery
stride. In a separate incident, a Team USA batsman openly questioned an
umpire’s decision by gesturing that he had hit the ball into the ground
before finally walking off the field.
“I discussed it at a meeting,” said Shivnaraine. “This is a gentleman’s
game. They shouldn’t do that…. They understand though. They apologized
which is good. They apologized to the manager, to the coach and to the
Away from all the action, the players had an awesome experience getting
to interact and make friends with the other teams at the hotel.
“It was a good experience, especially chatting with some Argentinean
guys and Bahaman guys and also Canadian guys, off the field we were all
happy,” said Shah. “I even gave my floppy hat to one of the Argentinean
guys. They really are nice kids. They are eager to learn that’s what
they are. They are eager to learn this game and I’m happy to see that.”
Many of the players on Team USA’s U-19 squad will be competing in
senior level USACA tournaments over the next few weeks. Ghous and Shah
have been selected to represent the Atlantic Region at the Eastern
Conference tournament in Washington, D.C. taking place from July 17-19.
Corns, who finished as the fourth highest run scorer in Toronto and had
two half-centuries in four matches before getting hurt, was recently
selected to represent the Central West Region for the Western
Conference tournament in Minneapolis, Minn., from July 31-August 2. The
experience against higher level competition will only help them in
their quest to advance to New Zealand in the U-19 World Cup.
“To be honest it would be a dream to appear in the World Cup,” said Shah.
From L-R bottom row: Team Physio Akhtar Masood "Chik" Syed, Abhijit
Joshi, Muhammad Asad Ghous, Henry Wardley, Shiva Vashishat, Regis
Burton, Yash Shah. From L-R top row standing: Coach Sew Shivnaraine,
Azurdeen "Andy" Mohammed, Naseer Jamali, Salman Ahmad, Ryan Corns,
Talha Zamir, Saami Siddiqui, Gregory Sewdial, Steven Taylor, Manager
According to a Media Release by Rushmans, the sports event management company, USA Cricket Association (USACA) has formally issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the formation of Twenty20 format USA Premier League and the wider commercial development of cricket in the country.
It was also announced that Nigel Rushman, Chairman of Rushmans, will serve as commercial advisor to USACA. Nigel is a well-known figure in the international business of sport and has been involved with high profile events including rugby and cricket world cups. More recently, Nigel was Event Director of the ICC CWC West Indies 2007 Inc with the responsibility of implementing the Event Management, Security, Media Management, Accreditation and Volunteer Programmes.
USACA's RFP has a deadline of August 7th for receipt of proposals and is expected to create a transparent playing field for all those who wish to participate in development of cricket in USA.
This move demonstrates the new USACA CEO, Don Lockerbie, is keen on harnessing the commercial potential of professional cricket. This could provide much needed funding for USACA's development objectives such as infrastructure development and Project 15, which aims to make USA a top-15 cricketing nation by 2015.
Among the services sought by USACA in its Request for Proposals are:
1. Identifying potential partnerships and securing corporate sponsorships;
2. Developing and managing major cricket events as part of USACA’s ‘Destination USA’;
3. Strategically planning and implementing a Twenty20 Professional League;
4. Negotiating TV / Radio broadcast rights for USA cricket events;
5. Developing and managing the public relations and media management of USACA;
6. Developing and managing a profitable website and social networking platform;
7. Creating merchandising deals with an online store to attract 15 million cricket fans known to live in the USA;
8. Creating and managing VIP/ Sponsor hospitality and travel programmes for ICC and USA Cricket events;
9. Developing and implementing other revenue generating programs for USACA.
In the Media Release, USACA Commercial Advisor Nigel Rushman said: “The commercial potential of cricket in the United States is widely recognised and that was underscored by the number of approaches USACA has received from many significant and prestigious organizations ranging from broadcasters to promoters and sports marketing companies.
“This process will enable us to consider all the proposals on the table and select the ideas and form the partnerships which are most beneficial to USACA, to the development of cricket in the USA and to the partners themselves.
“Cricket is a truly global sport which has been liberated by developments in the media. The success of the IPL in South Africa is evidence of that.
“We are confident that, with the right partners, the USA can host a world class Premier League which will fill grounds and attract massive television and online audiences. That is good news for the future of the sport in the USA and the growth of cricket worldwide.”
A man who tried to rob a Bee Gee's gas station and store in Bay Minette (Alabama) this weekend with a toy gun was run off by a worker wielding a cricket bat, Baldwin County investigators said.
"After noticing that the suspect's gun had an orange tip at the end of the barrel, the employee grabbed a cricket bat and the suspect ... fled the store without getting any money," Gaull said in a written statement.
The bat wins:
"Currently, the township is trying to get together money to establish an official cricket field for the three adult teams that play in the state league and the children who play on their own most warm nights behind the municipal complex, he said."
Detailed article, click here.
USA's Car and Driver compares the Jaguar 510 horse power XFR to a Jamaican fast bowler.
"On the surface, it’s elegant and refined. Yet it also has 510 horsepower capable of tearing the tail loose at a twitch of the stability-control button. It’s a lugubrious Jamaican fast bowler who’s your best friend until he takes to the field and tries to knock your head off."
"..under this veneer of gentility, cricket is a vicious game in which bowlers (they’re called pitchers in baseball) try to maim batsmen with 5.5-ounce balls made of compressed leather and cork and wool that are hurled at up to 90 mph."
Click here for the article.
Azad said he came up with the idea to approach the village about a cricket field because they were struggling to find room to play pickup games in already busy local parks. "One night we were driving around for an hour and a half and couldn't find anything," Mishra said.
They approached the Park Board on June 16. The board gave the go ahead for park staff to find space. Funding would come from park development dollars.
Park director Rex Mehlberg supports the idea. He said he isn't aware of any other cricket fields in the area.
"I think it's great that they want to do this," he said. "And I think it'll be good for the greater community, too."
Detailed article, click here.
Courtesy Greenbay Press Gazette: Ayyappan Purushothaman, a native of India who lives in Ashwaubenon, is all smiles as he plays a game of cricket Wednesday in Ashwaubenon.
Click on image below to see Americans Romeno and Cameron show off their skills at DreamCricket indoor nets.
New York police get behind a cricket league, reaching out to kids in immigrant communities. CNN's Richard Roth reports.
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