Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
At the USACA Annual General Meeting in Dallas in April, Don Lockerbie, CEO, said that his goal was for USACA to attain an annual
budget of $3 to $5 million for 2011 and an even larger amount the year
When asked where the money was going to come from, Lockerbie said that the worldwide tender attracted 106 expressions
of interest and 42 serious proposals from 16 countries. Of those, he
said that nine proposals were short-listed and two programs were
"currently being considered." It was said that
a deal was in legal review and felt that USACA could potentially make
an announcement within days.
At first, these pronouncements led to a lot of hope. For a while, it appeared that the USACA machinery was producing results. Pearls Cup,
the historic first international T20 series between New Zealand and Sri
Lanka, was successfully conducted despite its share of nay-sayers. For the first time, a major international event was imagined and executed in USA. Some months later, when USA reached Division 3, it helped to re-energize the troops.
But as days turned to weeks and then months, and nothing more was heard about the commercial deal, the hope dwindled. Positive news dried up and selection woes and accusations of favoritism once again came to the fore. Poorly organized domestic tournaments and constant changes to tournament schedules did nothing to enhance USACA's reputation. And the political tension surrounding the suspension of Western Region's representative only helped to add to the distrust.
The commercial deal is once again a hot topic and the person that should get credit for it is Ahmed Jeddy.
In an interview with DreamCricket.com last week, Jeddy attributed the lack of progress in his region to lack of funding and to a lack of support from his team. “When we had the USACA Western Conference
in Houston two years ago, I singlehandedly went out and contributed a
lot of funds to stage the tournament. So between USACA, HCL (Houston
Cricket League) and myself, we were the sole financers of that
tournament,” Jeddy said. "Obviously, it is not a hidden fact that USACA has not been able to secure funds," Jeddy reportedly told CricInfo. "How long can we keep telling people that we are going to get funding, we are going to get funding," he asked.
That may have led USACA to break its silence on the subject. In the same article that appeared in CricInfo, John Thickett, USACA's treasurer shed some light on the 'eight figure' commercial deal involving New Zealand
Cricket. The deal is expected to bring in millions of dollars into USA cricket vastly increasing the funding available for developing the sport in the regions.
Repeating what was said at the AGM earlier this year, Thickett promised that the deal was close. "I think we're getting pretty close to finalizing it all," Thickett
told CricInfo adding that it had taken a year to negotiate. Regarding the CEO's role in negotiating the deal, he said "Don has been the biggest driver.
He's done a very good job of representing US cricket, as have the other
directors who have worked on negotiating it." Talking about a timeframe, Thickett said that he expected an announcement to be made in 4 to 6 weeks.
DreamCricket.com sources indicated that the pace of negotiations has
intensified over the last several months but as the old saying goes -
'it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.' Jeddy is right when he says "Promises only last so long and after that people do start questioning."
Will USACA make good on its word this time?