Andy Bull of "The Spin" is skeptical in a piece titled "Cricket goes west to the USA." So skeptical that he declares that the "average American sports fan has no need for, or interest in, cricket, whether it is Twenty20 or Test."
Andy's blog piece appears to be based on what he has heard or read elsewhere. He looks at Don Lockerbie's now-familiar statistics on number of fans, players and grounds in the light of the some failed private ventures. Of course, he does not forget to toss in Allen Stanford's one-off spending spree in Fort Collins while at it.
"The trouble is that these are familiar numbers. We heard them in 2004, when the entrepreneur Kay [Kal] Patel launched the Pro Cricket League. We heard them again in 2005, when the Pro Cricket League folded and was replaced by Major League Cricket. And we heard them in 2009, when another visionary, Jay Mir, launched the American Premier League."
According to Andy's own assessment, the latter was just a "fine plan on paper". But did he actually read the plan? He calls Mr. Mir a 'visionary,' but USACA, which recently executed an international event in Florida gets little or no credit?
I think Pro Cricket was way ahead of its times - and not just for the U.S. market. At the time it was introduced, it was radical to play a T20, leave alone one with 5 ball overs played in baseball stadiums.
NZ vs SL in Florida successfully implemented a somewhat simpler idea - a neutral venue international cricket match series in USA's first international stadium. One series cannot convert Americans into screaming cricket fans!
Andy is right - building a coherent infrastructure needing a lot of money. But an "insurmountable obstacle" it is not!