The ICC welcomed the announcement today of three exhibition T20 matches to be played in the USA by teams led by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne, and encouraged the public to support the venture as well as the ICC’s own attempts to assist the development of cricket in the USA.
In June, the ICC Board suspended the USA Cricket Association (USACA) providing it with a pathway back to ICC membership through compliance with a series of reinstatement conditions. In the meantime, the ICC has identified and appointed a group of locally based individuals drawn from the USA cricket community and the USA sports industry (the‘Local Advisory Group’) in order to assist in the development of a meaningful strategy for the future promotion and development of cricket in the USA. This process is now well under way following widespread consultation with members of the entire USA cricket community over the past few months.
One emerging theme from the work of the Local Advisory Group is the need (in the short-term at least) for exhibition style matches to be played in the USA as a catalyst to drive interest in the USA sporting community. The ICC, which had assumed responsibility for sanctioning domestic events in the USA whilst USACA remained suspended, therefore saw fit to approve the application for sanctioning of the Cricket All-Stars event.
“We had a number of conversations with Sachin and Shane over recent months, and felt that their desire to play some matches in the USA, together with many other former stars of the game, fitted well with the initial direction of the strategy and would help cricket to reach its significant potential in the USA,” said ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson.
“We therefore wish them well and thank them for their enthusiasm to develop cricket outside of its traditional boundaries.”
A ‘sanction fee’ has been paid to the ICC for its approval of the ‘one-off’ series of Cricket All-Stars matches. This will be used to support the long-term strategy to develop cricket in the USA.
On a wider note, the ICC Board will be receiving an update on cricket in the USA at its meeting next week, including the recent process that has been undertaken to engage with all cricket stakeholders in the USA (through a ‘Town Hall’ meeting in Chicago and other initiatives), the work of the Local Advisory Group, the ‘Cricket All-Stars’ matches and the recently concluded ICC Americas Cricket Combine, as well as the status of compliance by USACA with its reinstatement conditions.