ICC to organize cricket trials in American cities

ICC to organize cricket trials in American cities

USACA
ICC to organize trials in 8 cities to spread the game in the country.. (Photo Source:ICC)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to organize trials in eight different American cities in a bid to spread the game and revamp the cricket infrastructure in the United States. Just recently, the ICC were on the receiving end of heavy criticisms following the reduction of teams participating in World Cups and other such ICC events.

However, the gesture simply goes on to show the true intentions of the ICC. Therefore, it has been decided that the ICC would indeed take the step in the forward direction by hosting a series of trials. Mike Young, a fielding coach from Australia and Tom Evans, a high-performance consultant will be heading this panel. The panel also includes a bevy of coaches from Cricket Australia and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The program has yielded fine results as the six players from this program have gone on to receive contracts from the Caribbean Premier League. The trials were held last September at Indianapolis, where 15 men were selected among the hundreds who had turned up for the trials. This time, however, the trials organized by the ICC will be exclusive only for the USA and will be open to men, women and junior levels of both genders. The USA Women’s team hasn’t played since 2012.

“There’s been quite a lot of people who have said to us that women’s cricket is alive and well and that they should be provided more opportunities,” Evans told ESPNcricinfo. “This is an opportunity to get some momentum going for the women’s game. For any women who want to be part of the national set-up and part of cricket in the US in general, we would encourage them to be a part of this process.”

Evans added that the applications he has received for the Women’s tryouts have been ‘decent’. The number of applications received is 18 while Evans continues to accept applications from women despite the deadline for applications closed.

“We won’t turn away any girls, that’s for sure because it’s a big focus,” Evans said. “We sort of know from what people say that northern California and New York are sort of the two main hubs for women’s cricket. If we got an overwhelming response for the combine, then we’d be rapt with that but we haven’t seen necessarily that there’s a huge number of female players across the country. We hope that will change.”

In the case of the men, Evan has stated that he would try and cut down on the 100+ applications he has received. It is also widely expected that almost 50 of the men will take part in the trials to be held at Woodley Park in Los Angeles.

“I think [Alex] Amsterdam was an example of that at the Indy combine who made runs but didn’t necessarily blaze the ball,” Evans said. “But he showed even within 20-over cricket batting for 10-15 overs that he would be a good 50-over cricketer because he had the ability to stay at the crease, looked to rotate the strike and when he was under pressure didn’t lose the plot.

Finally, Evans said that the overall goal was to cut down the overall number to 20 to 30 players in each category, therefore forming a talent pool.

“You can still get a really good indication of guys’ suitability to different formats by just seeing them in match situations and we have some pretty experienced guys who are part of the coaching evaluation panel. If on a Sunday we’re clear on who some of the best players are, we might try and give them an extended opportunity to prove themselves in a slightly longer game, whether it’s 50 overs or 40 or 30.”

The USA trial locations and dates
April 7-10: Los Angeles (men only)
April 14-17: San Francisco (women & U-17 only)
April 21-24: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
May 5-8: Houston
May 12-15: Chicago
May 19-22: Washington, D.C.
June 2-5: New Jersey (men only)
June 9-12: New York

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