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The American Cricket Federation welcomed its newest and biggest cricket league member, the Commonwealth Cricket League (CCL). Based in New York’s Van Cortlandt Park, CCL is the city’s and USA's largest with 2,000 players representing 72 teams.
CCL's move is a coup for ACF, which now boasts a membership that comprises twelve hard ball cricket leagues, two soft ball cricket league members and also enjoys the support of several prominent non-league supporters such as USYCA, CC Morris Cricket Library and Philadelphia Cricket Festival.
Pic (Right): A CCL match in progress at Van Cortlandt. [Courtesy: ACF]
The latest announcement comes two days after ACF requested ICC to look into cricket's governance in the United States. ACF's expanded footprint in six of the eight USACA regions strengthens its assertion that there are two governing bodies for the sport in the United States. The two remaining USACA regions, the Central West and the North West, continue to remain USACA bastions. Interestingly, previous challenges to USACA's authority have mainly originated from these two regions.
For several USACA members, insurance was a major reason for staying with USACA. With ACF offering member insurance services through Sadler,some of those members are already weighing their options ahead of the USACA membership deadline.
But insurance was not the motivation for CCL. “The ACF represents the future of cricket in America, and we are happy to be a part of that future," CCL President Lesly Lowe is quoted as saying.
ACF CEO Jamie Harrison said, “We’re delighted to have a league as vibrant and prestigious as Commonwealth joining our ranks. This addition not only gives us a strong presence in the New York area, but also brings us thousands of cricketers closer to the ultimate ACF cause of uniting the game in America.”
The Commonwealth Cricket League traces its roots back to the Commonwealth Cricket Club, which started playing in 1971 in the New York Cricket League, with later stints in the American Cricket League and the Eastern American Cricket Association.
CCL began its first season in 1982 with six teams and one ground. By 2006, CCL had grown to 50 teams and was already the largest league in the country.