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By Peter Della Penna
An official involved with Dallas area cricket is unhappy with the
decision to remove the USACA Twenty20 Nationals from the Central West,
disputing the statement made on Wednesday by USACA General Manager Manaf
Mohamed that it had to do with an inability to finalize a budget.
“It may have to do with the budget as far as USACA is concerned, but
not from the Central West,” said the official on Thursday afternoon, who
spoke on condition of anonymity. “If they had a problem with the
budget, if it was too much or whatever, that wasn’t communicated to us.
So I’m surprised to learn it’s a budget issue.”
“To say that this is a Central West budgetary issue is wrong. It’s a
USACA budgetary issue. You’ve got to spend money regardless of where you
hold it. So I’m really curious to know how much they are spending for
the tournament in New Jersey now.”
The official said that the first time he learned that the tournament
was moved from Dallas to New Jersey was after it was reported through
this web site. No one from USACA communicated it and the last time any
information was communicated by USACA to officials in Dallas was more
than a week ago.
biggest issue according to the official is the fact that this decision
has fractured relationships at the local level in Dallas between the
cricket officials and local government, businesses, potential sponsors
Image (right) - A layout of Russell Creek Park in Plano, Texas.
All four matches could have taken place at the same ground in Plano
whereas matches in New Jersey will most likely be played at three or
four separate facilities.
“I’ve burnt a lot of bridges,” said the official. “I had excellent
relationships with a lot of people in Plano. Tomorrow, we still have to
conduct our league’s games here and tomorrow if I need to go to the city
for any infrastructure improvement, they’ll say, ‘Hey, you know what?
You’re a joker. You said the national tournament was coming here.
Nothing came here. This game is never ever gonna grow. I’m actually
going to cut you from two grounds to one ground.’ Then what am I gonna
do? That is the real problem.”
“It was such a waste of a whole lot of people’s time, including the
city of Plano. We had many meetings with them to convince them on how
this is really gonna take off and help this city.”
The official says that more than 70 rooms were blocked off at an area
hotel for teams to use during the tournament, but the hotel management
became increasingly agitated as they had not yet received a deposit from
USACA and as such they would not be willing to continue to reserve the
“The hotel wanted at least the first night’s pay because they were
turning away every other customer,” said the official. “We had booked
this for two or three weeks while negotiations with USACA were going on.
USACA said they would pay. They said they had written to Dainty and
they were waiting on his approval. Then no word came… there was
absolutely no response from Manaf or John Thickett or Dainty.”
“I feel bad. I burnt my bridges with some of the people, with the
hotel guy because he held on for two or three weeks without giving rooms
to anybody. I can’t compensate for his lack of revenue now.”
Plans had also been put in place with the city of Plano to make
improvements to the cricket facilities at Russell Creek Park before the
start of the tournament, but they could not start work until they
received a 100% confirmation from USACA to stage the tournament.
“We had four grounds all in a single facility in Russell Creek Park. I
had spoken to the city to get the [astroturf wickets] replaced and
everything, get it spruced up for the national tournament. They agreed
to do it,” said the official. “We talked to the contractors. We had
started project managing that and we had to start pulling back
everything because everybody was waiting on some advance deposit
payment. The physical work to start the relaying of the pitches
fortunately did not start because we would have been in a financial
“Cricket in general would have benefitted,” said the official. “All of that has fallen flat on its face.”