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USACA announced the teams that are competing in the 2014 National Championship Tournament to be staged in Florida from August 14-17, 2014.
Pic Right: In a delicious bit of irony, the official USACA media release erroneously stated that the "USA National Men's team" had been announced.
Of course, with many leagues opting out of USACA, the teams are not truly representative of the talent that exists in their regions. And yet, for the participating cricketers, this is their best chance yet to make a strong showing and claim a spot on the team that will represent USA in the ICC WCL Division 3 Tournament to be held in Uganda in October. Since this is the first national tournament in three years, this week's tournament also presents the first such opportunity for many of the newer players.
Indeed, at the start of the year, the US National Cricket Championships looked like it was going to be an event to look out for. USA's cricket community was excited about the host-city deal with the City of Indianapolis as well as a broadcast deal with ESPN.
Some might argue that USACA's bungling of the national tournament had well and truly begun in October 2013, when Andy Pick, USACA's High Performance Manager who was charged with establishing structures and processes for talent development, resigned from his USACA post citing USACA's failure to adhere to a process. Even without him, if there was any semblance of a structure and process at USACA, that appears now to be in complete disarray.
The controversy surrounding the USACA Selection Committee is a case in point. It was first reported in the social media in July that Selwyn Ceasar had resigned from the USACA Selection Committee. Now, absent an invitation from USACA, the other selectors have expressed concerns about their ability to travel this week.
Announcing the deal with ESPN to broadcast the national tournament final live on ESPN3, Darren Beazley noted that "Communication is the key ingredient for success when managing a national sport and USACA will be doing its utmost to ensure that the changes that will take place this year are communicated in a clear and timely manner."
In retrospect, it is the 'lack of communication' that caused the host-city deal to be terminated after Darren Beazley's own resignation in March. The fate of the ESPN3 broadcast deal is unclear.
“US cricket has worked very hard last year to increase the exposure of our sport in America,” Gladstone Dainty, President, USACA, was quoted as saying in the January 2014 edition of the Partnerships newsletter. “We have been developing a strong foundation on which to showcase cricket to the American public and we believe that the reinvigoration of the US National Cricket Championships will create a great deal of excitement both within and external to the US cricket community." Dainty noted.
Looking back, there can be no disputing the fact that the national tournament has received a lot of exposure, much of it in mainstream media. Alas, the exposure was mostly negative.
USACA will now look to salvage whatever can be salvaged and hope that the tournament itself proceeds without further drama or controversy.
The teams that are participating in the national tournament are as follows:
Atlantic Region: Ryan Persaud, Dino Choweenam, Savan Patel, Sean Stanislaus, Raj Bhavsar, Mahendra Khublal, Charan Singh, Waleed Aslam, Francis Mendonca, Adil Bhatti, Junaid Rasheed, Imran Awan, Dishant Parikh, Danial Ahmed, Cheruka Weerakoon, Waleed Karimullah, Basil Butcher (Coach)
Central East Region: Najam Iqbal (Captain), Fahad Babar (Vice- Captain), Moin Babar, Hunain Amin, Zeyad Imtiaz, Mohammad Ziauddin, Kamran Syed, Yasheb Rajpar, Sikander Soleja, Kabir Hussain, Talha Mohsin, Asmar Najam, Adnan Baig (Coach)
Central West Region: Usman Shuja, Shuja Naqvi, Varun Singh, Ahmed Butt, Sidhesh Pathare, Umer Syed, Orlando Baker, Majid Rizvi, Davion Davidson, Jay Pathak, Ankit Mehta, Usman Rafiq, Jasdeep Singh, Dhandapani Devarasan, Tanvir Ullah, Raja Mehtab, Asif Mujtaba (Coach), Muneer Majid (Manager), Mustafa Hemani (Manager)
New York Region: Steve Massiah, Karan Ganesh, Rashad Marshall, Akeem Dodson, Barrington Bartley, Javien Thomas, Dennis Evans, Prashanth Nair, Alex Amsterdam, Adam Sandford, Trinson Carmichael, Casper Davis, Jr., Jazeb Tariq, Andre Lindsay, George Adams, Robert Pydana (Coach), Kevin Darlington (Manager)
North East Region: Sharaz Baksh, Twain Walter, Chevon McLean, Jonathan Bonner, Simon Laveau, Nathan Green, Nirav Patel, Varun Kumar, Jaideep Reddy, Aditya Mishra, Mohammad Kamran, Fazal Alam, Akiel Husbands, Earl Donatien, Jeff Frater, Kevin Hussain (Coach), Earl Donatien (Physio)
North West Region: Srini Santhanam, Saqib Saleem, Shiva Vashista, Rahul Singh, Pranay Suri, Mohammad Khan, Deepak Rajendran, Vaibhav Altekar, Santosh Lelsani, Mahesh Krishnamurthy, Nilesh Rane, Naren Puppala, Karim Sakhi, Rishi Bharadwaj, Srini Salver,Srikanth Verma (Manager)
South East Region: Japen Patel (Captain), Steven Taylor (Vice Captain), Asghar Malik Sheikh, Jr., Camilus Alexander, Darpan Patel, Marlon Grant, Viraj Patel, Ramnarine Chattergoon, Rana Adil, Renganathan Sankaranarayanan, Sesha Sai Ventrapragada, Forbes Vijay Kholi, Waseem Ahmed, Zainali Sayed, Rajesh Uppalapati (Coach), Suren Gandavaram (Manager)
South West Region: Mehul Dave (Captain), Aditya Thyagarajan (Vice-Captain), Ritesh Kadu, Mrunal Patel, Nisarg Patel, Timil Patel, Arjun Thyagarajan, Ravi Timbawala, Arsh Buch Sahaj Patel, Abhimanyu Rajp, Vishal Shah, Pradeep Patel (Manager)