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USACA announced on June 2 that it was moving the 2014 National Tournament to the purpose-built cricket stadium in Broward County, Florida (Picture at left).
Making light of the mounting criticism of its many failures to communicate, USACA sought to put a positive spin on the decision by Indianapolis to terminate its agreement to host the national championship.
"The costs for teams, families and fans to travel and stay in Indianapolis were just exceptionally high. There are rarely if ever enough direct flights available and that was causing teams to have to take more personal time off," said Sunil Kumar, who was appointed Project Manager for the national tournament last week.
"Added to this we were not able to get a large enough sponsor to subsidize these costs for all regions and the forty plus leagues involved in the national championship if the tournament was to be held in a non-traditional cricket market," Kumar noted.
USACA said that the change meant that USACA would now have access to a floodlit stadium. USACA also showered praise on the Broward County stadium's international quality practice and changing facilities for players. Interestingly, USACA's words of praise came a year after the same organization publicly criticized the stadium's poor pitch and lack of practice facilities.
Among the other advantages of shifting the venue to Broward County, USACA noted, was that it had access to additional grounds allowing it to have a shorter tournament, which in turn would save players and families time and money.
USACA noted that it had offered to host the ICC WCL Division 3 tournament at the same venue later in 2014. In addition, having the national championships in Florida enabled it to better utilize its partner, the West Indies Cricket Board, as an advisor, USACA noted.
Pic (Right): USACA President Gladstone Dainty (Left) with Mayor Greg Ballard (Right) back in 2009. [Pic Courtesy USACA]
While Indianapolis had criticized USACA for failing to work with the city on identifying potential sponsors and partnerships, Gladstone Dainty the USACA president appeared to blame the City of Indianapolis for that outcome. “We wish the City of Indianapolis the very best and respect that they did not feel able to help financially support the endeavor over the long run. This was a very expansive idea which needed an extremely big financial commitment."
USACA hinted that the City of Indianapolis had terminated the agreement 'for reasons beyond what is being widely claimed by the City in the press.'
'USACA begs to disagree with the City of Indianapolis on meetings and communication, as there was an appointed project manager with frequent meetings and multiple open lines of communication,' USACA said in its media release. 'The key issue for the tournament was around funding and USACA notes that no significant funding sources had been identified to recognize the high costs of hosting a tournament in Indianapolis,' the release stated.