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.”